Facial Recognition Technology Could Soon Predict Your Lifespan
Long used to identify criminals and missing children, facial recognition may soon be used by physicians to map a patient's aging and estimate his/her lifespan. As you may imagine, insurance companies are following the developing technology very closely.
What's the Latest?
Facial recognition technology is nothing new. It's often used to help identify criminals or provide a glimpse into how a missing child may have aged. But as Tara Bahrampour of the Washington Post reports, the technology's potential reaches into the personal realm:
Imagine that an insurance underwriter comes to your house and, along with noting your weight and blood pressure, snaps a photo of your face. And that those wrinkles, mottled spots and saggy parts, when fed into a computer, could estimate how long you will live.
That may sound farcical but scientists believe such technology is not too far off.
What's the Big Idea?
Bahrampour sums up how the new application of technology would work:
The technology involves using a computer to scan a photograph of a face for signs of aging. Factoring in the subject’s race, gender, education level and smoking history — all known to affect longevity prospects — it would analyze each section of cheek, eye, brow, mouth and jowl looking for shading variations that signal lines, dark spots, drooping and other age-related changes that might indicate how the person is doing compared with others of the same age and background.
The technology sounds invasive, almost a little too personal. But as we've seen with the boon of employer-established wellness programs, the realities of high healthcare costs have the folks footing the bill wanting to get the best possible understanding of what they're investing in -- namely, you. Organizations such as the NIH and Google have invested millions of dollars into health-focused facial recognition technology. There's obviously a future here; we'll see what comes of it.
Photo credit: igor.stevanovic / Shutterstock
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates
- Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
- More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
- But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.
- Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
- Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
- Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
Two new studies say yes. Unfortunately, each claims a different time.
- Research at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences declares evening to be the best time for an exercise session.
- Not so fast, says a new study at UC Irvine, which replies that late morning is the optimal workout time.
- Both studies involved mice on treadmills and measured different markers to produce their results.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.