Study: AI could predict when you die

Artificial intelligence can recognize faces, answer trivia, drive a car, relay the weather, compose music, trade stocks, and much more. And now algorithms have gotten "very accurate" in predicting when you might die.

A team of scientists and doctors at the University of Nottingham in the UK developed and tested an AI system that continually crunches data about a large pool of middle-aged people to predict someone's risk of dying early because of chronic disease.

The project's lead researcher, Stephen Weng, an assistant professor of epidemiology and data science, said the application of this kind of AI could actually improve preventative medicine.

"Most applications focus on a single disease area but predicting death due to several different disease outcomes is highly complex, especially given environmental and individual factors that may affect them," Weng said in a summary of the research. "We have taken a major step forward in this field by developing a unique and holistic approach to predicting a person's risk of premature death by machine-learning."

Weng said the algorithms his team developed take into account a range of "demographic, biometric, clinical and lifestyle factors for each individual assessed, even their dietary consumption of fruit, vegetables and meat per day."

The team's study appears in the journal PLOS ONE.