When it comes to longevity, it’s helpful to think of your personal expiration date as something more than just the day you’ll die.
Religion and spirituality have a variety of takes on mortality, as does the rapidly progressing world of science. A common medical view is that there are two types of age: your chronological age and your biological age.
Chronologically, the number of years you lived is considered your age, and when you pass away, that total becomes your age of death.
It’s simple math, and the averages are used to determine a generalized sense of life expectancy for massive populations.
Individually, it’s very rare for someone to die on the exact day of their life expectancy, but it’s nice to have something to shoot against.
If you’re statistically expected to die at 80 and you make it to 81, then congratulations — you beat the system!
Biologically, though, age is a much more nuanced concept that includes your genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environment. A super-healthy person in a safe place whose ancestors typically live to 100 should not consider 80 to be the end of the road — biologically speaking it’s more like middle age.
A key metric scientists are studying is the methylation rates of cells at different ages. Methylation reflects your health at a cellular level, and these findings could hold answers to many of life’s secrets. That includes the optimization of our metabolisms, neurotransmitter and DNA production, detoxification, eye and liver health, and cellular energy.
Enter artificial intelligence
With all the data sets to take into account, tracking an individual’s mortality is increasingly difficult. Good thing we live in an advanced computer age where robots can process all the information for us — even as the data changes constantly — and predict our personalized life expectancy.
Powered by the artificial intelligence (AI) of advanced computers, the practice of biological age prediction — and making adjustments in your life to get biologically younger — is emerging as a promising biomedical industry.
According to a study published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, this AI-enabled technology will soon be a standalone industry.
Researchers looked at a wide cross-section of how AI is being used to crunch everything from methylation within cells to the data produced by people’s wearable technology.
AI solutions are being developed through a myriad of sectors ranging from pharmacology to cross-species aging research.
It’s a real movement, and it’s only gaining momentum. New players, each with their own machine-learning algorithms and methodologies, are entering the field every day.
They are spanning the economy from our universities and non-profits to Wall Street and Silicon Valley crowds.
Since half the population is likely to be biologically older than their chronological age, these scientific breakthroughs won’t be universally celebrated. No one wants to learn that they’ll “die young,” and many people simply prefer not to think about it.
However, a better understanding of your biological age means a better chance of gaining some control over the factors pushing it higher. And that’s something we all can live with.