Utility and Engineered Longevity

Here's a long post on the utility of contributing to engineered longevity versus the other forseeable technology most likely to dramatically reshape the world - self-improving artificial intelligence (AI). The author puts that goal in advance of contributing now to advancing longevity science, but I think that a point is missed along the way. Even if your contributions made now don't lead to technologies arriving in time to extend your life, they will bring forward the dates at which the medicine of engineered longevity does emerge in each region of the world. Every day gained in this fashion saves approximately 100,000 lives at present population levels. From the post: "The crux of my conflict is whether there is greater utility in putting money toward longevity or strong AI. ... . And for now, let's pretend that longevity escape velocity (LEV) occurs 25 years from now without any of my investment. Now lets say I buy 5 years of 'progress' in longevity, so it happens only 20 years from now. I think it's likely that within the first few decades of LEV, most of the change in life expectancy will come from wealthy old people in prosperous nations. I just saved and improved many lives, but not a whole bunch ... probably under half a billion. Infectious and lifestyle diseases, accidents and wars still exist, and those who can't afford treatment still die when they get old, even when AI shows up."

Link: http://raelifin.com/thoughts/on-the-utility-of-game-changing-technologies/


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