Huge leaps are being made in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and it’s already focusing in on Senior Living. Is that a good thing?
Let’s come back to that after we do some background.
“Artificial intelligence” is intelligence displayed by machines, in contrast with the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals. In computer science, AI research is defined as the study of “intelligent agents”: any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal. Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving.
So, perception of the environment and taking actions to increase its chances of successfully performing a goal are the essential elements of the definition. When explained that way, it removes some of the creepiness about it.
You know, how robots with AI will decide mankind isn’t necessary, so they eliminate us? We all grew up with movies predicting that, and that makes AI unsettling to us.
While that may be, AI isn’t doing itself too many favors on that perception. Facebook abandoned an experiment after two artificially intelligent programs appeared to be chatting to each other in a strange language only they understood.
And there are other stories, but that’s off point.
Essential to AI is data, and Senior Living is beginning to become equipped with devices that collect data. The problem is our ability as humans of turning massive amounts of data into actionable information, which is something AI can do very well.
Applying the definition of AI to this would be to say reading current and historical data (the environment) to predict health related events of a particular senior (the goal), by learning known behavioral and biological patterns (taking action).
AI can be provided data points about the behavior and biometrics of seniors and draw predictive conclusions about their health and the possible onset of an event that is not obvious to care givers. The power is the ability to initiate specific medical intersession. In other words, AI could tell Physicians which conditions to look for.
As the proponents of AI in Senior Living say, we can become proactive instead of reactive. And the ultimate goal is for AI to become so sophisticated, it can be classified as preventive.
So, is AI good for Senior Living? We think it is.
Because programs can “think” in nanoseconds and “read” through billions of data points to draw conclusions, we should let them do that. It’s beyond the ability of humans, so let’s leave it that way and benefit seniors with the care in which it results.
After all, superior care for seniors is our mission.