The application of artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector has been talked about for a long time. It is used in many branches of medicine – for reading and processing patient data, health monitoring, and diagnostics. However, AI now faces an even larger task — to overcome aging and death. Let’s figure out how AI improves the quality of medical care and whether people can gain immortality due to these technologies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is actively used by doctors to make their decisions: through a customized program that analyzes the diagnostic data of the patient and his or her own parameters, an individual treatment plan is drawn up. Then it is checked and corrected by doctors. AI is already able to diagnose eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and even several types of cancer as good as the best luminaries of medicine. However, the main advantage of modern technologies is the automation of the working time of medical specialists. According to a study conducted in the USA in 2004, on average, a doctor needs about 30 hours a day for a cursory overview of materials about all the latest developments — if to subtract weekends, time for work with patients, and basic needs. This is a fundamentally unsolvable task — to simultaneously cure, study information at such a rapid pace and memorize all new developments. But for a computer, this is not a problem.
According to McKinsey analysts, 15% of doctors’ working time will be automated by 2030 with the help of artificial intelligence. McKinsey also stated that such activities as data collection and processing and performing physical work in predictable conditions have the highest technical potential.
In the future, AI will make the interaction between doctors and patients better: due to the need to make a number of decisions, the doctor often does not have enough time to communicate with the patient and analyze all his or her problems.
In addition to participating in the treatment of patients, AI is used to identify the earliest symptoms of diseases and increase life expectancy. According to many researchers, artificial intelligence can make humanity immortal — it’s just a matter of time. Now aging is considered not a natural process, but rather a disease that, with the right approach, can be cured. And while some scientists intend to slow down this process, others are wondering how to overcome it and gain immortality.
Ray Kurzweil, who holds the position of technical director in the field of machine learning and natural language processing at Google, predicts that by 2030 humanity will be able to significantly prolong life or even cheat death altogether. He insists that shortly the human brain will be implanted with tiny robotic implants that allow doing certain tasks. With their help, it will be possible to send emails and photos to another person’s brain, as well as to back up our thoughts, which in turn will bring many other opportunities.
Large technology companies are actively working on creating a digital double – an ultra-realistic virtual copy of a person. Almost a decade ago, Elon Musk founded the neurotechnological company Neuralink, which specializes in the development and production of neurocomputer interfaces. These devices are inserted into the human brain to improve people’s memory and intellectual abilities. The company’s employees claim that over time, a closer connection between biological and digital intelligence will be achieved, that is, the human brain will connect with a digital version of itself.
In 2019, at the first press conference dedicated to Neuralink, Elon Musk presented a new device capable of reading information from the brain. It is folded with 6 threads 4 microns thick, which is at least 10 times thinner than human hair. Each thread has a certain number of electrodes that are implanted into the brain. They are “taught” to analyze brain activity and read data using a chip that is located behind the ear.
The company’s specialists have been working on improving the device all the time, and in 2021 Neuralink announced that they managed to implant a chip into the monkey’s brain. After that, she was able to control the computer game with her mind. Now the company is preparing to implant Neuralink chips in people.
Also, many other companies are looking for a solution to stop aging. Here are some examples:
Despite the enormous progress in medicine, at the moment the large-scale introduction of such technologies causes a lot of ethical contradictions, the answers to which are still difficult to find.
There is less and less doubt that digital copies of a person and immortality, in general, will become part of our reality in a few decades, or even years, given the rapid pace of development of new technologies. AI has become an integral part of healthcare, helping to automate the work of doctors and increase its efficiency. But its potential allows us to look for solutions for the cardinal prolongation of human life. The current results shown by artificial intelligence indicate that the high-profile ideas of researchers can become part of our future.
However, even if modern technologies will not be able to reveal the secret of immortality and defeat death soon, the interaction of the human mind and the computer will bring a large number of medical achievements and make treatment more affordable and of high quality and increase our life expectancy.