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Consortium to Advance A.I. in Longevity Research

Hands of older person

(Steve Buissinne, Pixabay)

18 Nov. 2019. A group of academic, foundation, and business organizations are collaborating on the use of artificial intelligence in research on extending life spans. The Longevity A.I. Consortium is underway at Kings College London with an initial funding of £7 million, following a conference on A.I. in longevity research held last week at the university.

The conference, called the A.I. for Longevity Summit, discussed the application of A.I. to change the focus of longevity studies from treatment to prevention of age-related diseases, and to promote precision health solutions. Organizers of the event say the conference brought together financial and insurance executives together with scientists and government officials to consider the direction of research for benefiting older individuals, the fastest growing demographic group.

The Longevity A.I. Consortium, residing at Kings College, is an off-shoot of the conference, formed by Biogerontology Research Foundation and Deep Knowledge Ventures. The Biogerontology Research Foundation says it’s the U.K.’s leading non-profit organization advocating for and supporting research on aging, particularly the shift from treating diseases to personalized precision medicine. The Deep Knowledge Group is an international collaboration of businesses and not-for-profit organizations supporting advanced applications of artificial intelligence in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals and health care.

The consortium is expected to provide resources for development of A.I.-driven tools for precision diagnostics, prognostics, personalized therapies, and preventive treatments. The group’s agenda also includes developing a cloud-based panel of biomarkers related to aging, with incentives for doctors and health care providers to participate. The consortium’s work is likewise expected to promote research into the role of the microbiome in diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as advanced cosmetics. In addition, the group plans to study complementary financial and behavioral factors affecting the overall lifestyle quality of people as they age.

Joining the consortium is the not-for-profit organization Longevity UK that advocates for research and development and public policies in the U.K. supporting an aging population. Also in the consortium are the companies Aging Analytics Agency and Insilico Medicine. Aging Analytics Agency, based in London, provides analytics on aging, precision medicine, and the economics of aging. The company’s work covers blockchain and digital health technologies, as well as A.I.

Insilico Medicine, in Hong Kong, develops systems and services that apply artificial intelligence to drug discovery and research on the aging process. The company offers a public online engine called aging.ai that analyzes demographic characteristics, and 19 to 41 biomarkers from blood samples. In September, Science & Enterprise reported on a paper published by Insilico Medicine and Wuxi AppTech that demonstrated techniques with deep learning to discover new small molecule drugs ready for validation and lab animal tests in 21 days.

According to a statement released through EurekAlert, Biogerontology Research Foundation and Deep Knowledge Ventures will provide £7 million (US $9.1 million) to the consortium over three years for a worldwide Longevity A.I. network. That network will start in the U.K., but is expected to expand to the U.S., Switzerland, Israel, and Singapore.

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