Using AI to Predict Death with Sune Lehmann

In this week’s episode, we welcome Sune Lehmann, a network and complexity scientist at the Technical University of Denmark. Sune shares insights into his revolutionary work using algorithms to predict health outcomes, income, and mortality, drawing on extensive datasets from Danish citizens. He emphasizes the power of viewing human lives as sequences of events, akin to language, and how this perspective can lead to groundbreaking predictions about individuals’ futures. We also get into the ethical considerations and future implications of this research, highlighting the balance between predictive accuracy and the importance of shared risk in insurance. Additionally, he touches on the once-Danish-now-global phenomenon of cold-water swimming, illustrating how this practice offers a unique sense of wellbeing and mental clarity.

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Key Moments

“From a certain perspective, human lives are sequences, right? You’re born, you are seen by a doctor. They do some measurements and all of that information can be structured to create, let’s say, the sentence of your life.

And so what we did is that we took an enormous dataset and we used the same technology that lies underneath the AI large language models, and we built a kind of general model for human lives.”

“That model, as long as you have training data, can really predict anything about humans. I mean, it might do things with kind of varying quality, but for the things that we’ve tested it, it performs better than any other algorithm that we can find.”

“So lots of people have kind of contacted me saying let’s use this for something that’s actually meaningful and useful. And I think, you know, what’s amazing about what we do is that we also model not just the medical data, but the data around the life that people live.”

Connect with Sune

Article: Artificial Intelligence can predict events in people’s lives

Personal website

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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.



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