You can't spell aging without AI. Can you?
(No. 129) Plus, the Grateful Undead, Air Supply and more news for everyone who has aged while reading this
Sunshine or gloom?
Most everyone I talk to is dooming and glooming about how AI is going to ruin our society. I feel like saying, too late, its already ruined. Maybe instead, AI can help fix a lot of the things that ail us, from environmental destruction to diabetes.
What if, in the long run, AI actually leads us to a better place? What if people around the world are able to use AI to go deep in learning about the subjects they are interested in? What if people concerned about the loss of glaciers discover solutions to the problem, using AI? What if farmers figure out better ways to farm?
Ok, you say. Current AI is still primitive. What happens when AI achieves general intelligence and can actually “think” like a person (which it can’t do now). Yeah, what if? Everyone says AI will be a demon, out to control the world. I think we’ve all watched too many crappy movies where any time a machine gets smart, it takes on all the worst qualities of humans: greed, violence, lack of empathy. Maybe AI will be smarter, and realize that living in harmony is better than invading each other’s territory and accusing each other of being communists or fascists. Maybe these killer robots everyone fears will be more like shiny Golden Retrievers, goofily bringing us a ball to throw.
And maybe AI will make life much easier for all of us who are aging. AI has the potential to be incredibly beneficial to people over age 55. For instance, AI-powered health monitoring systems can help older adults track their vital signs and receive early warning of potential health problems. AI can also assist with medication management, reminding individuals when it's time to take their potions and alerting caregivers if they miss a dose. (It’s already helping scientists invent new, targeted drugs.) In addition, AI-powered virtual assistants can help older adults with daily tasks, such as scheduling appointments, shopping, and managing finances and getting where they want to be. Overall, AI has the potential to improve the lives of older adults by providing them with new tools and services that can help them stay healthy, independent, and engaged. I must emphasize the word potential as we do not yet know the outcome of this stuff, or even, truly, how many AI functions work.
Chat-based AI healthcare advice is one area that excites me. It works by utilizing natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to interpret and understand users' questions or concerns about their health. These chatbots use machine learning and deep learning algorithms to analyze the data provided by users, along with their medical history, symptoms, and other relevant information. Based on this analysis, the chatbot can provide personalized healthcare advice and recommendations, such as home remedies, lifestyle changes, or the need for a doctor's visit. In some cases, the chatbot may refer the user to a healthcare provider for further evaluation or treatment. And that’s just the current state of things.
The tech could help make the future more equitable and harmonious for all of us. Of course, then again, it might not.
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At 65, I wouldn’t mind 10 additional years
Sam Altman is an interesting 38-year-old guy who runs Open AI, the company that released Chat GPT4, the tech that famously tried to break up a New York Times reporter’s marriage. Recently, he invested what is purported to be his last 180 million dollars in an anti-aging company that’s searching for ways to extend our lifespans by 10 years. That seems like a reasonable goal. The company, called Retro, is focused on using “cellular reprogramming, autophagy & plasma-inspired therapeutics,” to get there. Given Altman’s record of major successes with other companies, I believe he has a good chance of pulling this off.
Breathing cures everything, especially for old fother muckers.
Not Grateful Yet
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All the founding members of the Grateful Dead are now old, or dead. One of the survivors, guitarist Bob Weir, is known for staying fit. At 74, he has the grooming of an aged lion, yet is cut like a young cub.
Weir's workouts focus on a combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training. He spends several hours every week running or biking or doing other stuff to pump his heart. He also does squats, lunges, and deadlifts and other resistance work to build strength as he ages. All this on a vegetarian diet, without much alcohol or drugs.