Chaiwoo Lee Presents AI and Longevity Research for the World Summit on the Information Society Forum

by Adam Felts

A discussion panel held by the UN Decade for Healthy Aging initiative discussed the possibilities of artificial intelligence to address challenged related to an aging population in the 21st century. AgeLab Research Scientist Chaiwoo Lee appeared as a discussant on the panel.

The panel was part of the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2022, an international conference organized by an array of branches of the UN, including UNESCO and the International Telecommunication Union.

The panel session, which was titled "Harnessing artificial intelligence ethically for the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing," focused both on the potential for AI to compensate for a lack of resources to address the needs of older adults, and ethical challenges that need to be managed in order for AI to be deployed in a fair and just way—in particular, the need to include the voices of older adults themselves.

Dr. Lee based her presentation around the AgeLab’s AI and Longevity study, which surveyed both the general public and experts on their attitudes on the use of AI in a wide variety of domains. She noted, to begin with, the range of applications and domains for which AI may play a significant role in the longevity economy, including retirement planning and investments, social interaction and connectedness, transportation, healthcare, and in the workplace.

However, she also noted challenges for the ethical implementation of AI that were highlighted by the AgeLab’s research. A significant gap in knowledge arose between experts and consumers that may affect rates of adoption of the new technology. That discrepancy in knowledge, plus other systemic differences in resources, may lead to an access gap between more and less privileged users. The study also highlighted the risk of AI perpetuating systematic biases, such as against older adults in the workplace, which experts who responded to the survey mentioned as a predominant concern.

Learn more about the AgeLab’s AI and Longevity study here.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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