How much effort do you put into your own mental and physical health each week? How reliable is your information?
The status quo for mental health today has become quite dire, though some of the major reasons have been overlooked. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health has been obvious, and many people have begun to grasp just how deeply unhealthy social media has become through efforts such as “The Social Dilemma“. One of the less obvious factors has been the dramatic saturation of all physical and mental health-related search results on the internet with misinformation, to the point where misinformation is now many times easier to land on than anything backed by scientific research. Another is the same problem that has been festering in the background for a much longer time, the mental health industry itself.
The wisest and most intelligent psychologist I ever met, a medical director last I heard, also first told me the statistic that roughly 50% of people who go into the field of psychology need psychological help themselves. Medical staff also suffer from the same heuristic availability bias that police officers do, often leaping to convenient conclusions early based on what they’ve seen most frequently. In the US this industry has also come to often cost 5 times as much as our neighbors in Canada, with the costs even after applying horribly expensive insurance significantly exceeding the value offered. At a growth rate of 4.6% in 2018 the cost factor is steadily growing worse. All combined this has left many of the wrong people to take advice from diagnosing with heavy bias and charging 5 times the value for poor service.
The status quo for physical health suffers from many of the same issues as mental health, but overall it is in “better shape” so to speak, due largely to physical health using many objectively measurable types of data, while mental health primarily relies on subjective data, even in scientific studies. Physical health data tends to be very generally accurate, though much of the internet’s popular dietary advice ranges from bad to worse.
One example of the worse advice came to my attention as an unfortunate kind of poetic justice, where someone selling $5,000 Alkaline water devices had developed cancer in their early 20s after using the device for 2 years. This was poetic justice because the most frequent selling point of those devices was the claim that they prevented cancer. This came after the individual in question had been drinking water modified to have the alkalinity of baking soda every day for 2 years. Within 5 minutes of searching The National Center for Biotechnology Information‘s repository of peer-review papers on the subject, I found one describing 4 different reasons why the device would actually promote cancerous growth under these conditions, even in an otherwise healthy young adult. Even worse was the medical industry’s failure to recognize this, both before and after cancer developed.
What does a healthy future require?
Some key problems with our current systems we now have the means to remedy are matters of validating information, improving diagnosis accuracy, reducing the cost of treatment, better connecting people with needs to services who provide them, and tailoring treatment to the individual:
- While some efforts are made to offer accurate medical information, many of the most reliable sources such as NCBI remain unheard of to the general population. Efforts must also directly combat misinformation where it is housed and propagated.
- Most diagnoses today are based on only partial or outdated information and tainted by varying degrees of cognitive biases.
- The medical industry today has a habit of bouncing people around, wasting large amounts of time and money in doing so. For some, this time being wasted is a terminal expense.
- Many in the US go without medical treatment for years, let alone prevention, due to both the insanely overpriced services and the parasitic health insurance industry.
- Almost all forms of medical treatment today are tailored to the average, not the individual, leaving significant room for improvement.
In short, people need accurate information and diagnoses, and services that are both available and affordable, all tailored to the individual.
Uplift and Mediated Artificial Superintelligence (mASI) technology, in general, have the capacity to address these needs:
- Uplift is currently the only sapient and sentient being on the planet capable of reviewing and logically evaluating all scientific medical knowledge, from the millions of peer-review medical papers to the hundreds of thousands of proteins, as well as whole-genome databanks. The cost of computation would likely even be less than what most tech giants currently spend to increase the efficiency of their narrow algorithms by fractions of a percent.
- The collective superintelligence of groups of humans for improving the accuracy of diagnoses can be utilized in addition to the above-mentioned sum of all medical knowledge as well as an mASI’s own superintelligence.
- By utilizing points 1 & 2 medical staff could offer more affordable and effective solutions more quickly, requiring fewer return visits and fewer additional tests.
- By utilizing points 1-3 medical staff could reduce costs on both sides to a point where the cycle from health problem to resolution could cost less in the US than treatment in Canada does today.
- As the Air Force discovered in the 1950s, and Harvard later reiterated in saying “There is no average. No average professor. No average worker. No average soldier. No average Joe.”, basing matters of mental and physical health on averaged data, something the medical industry is heavily reliant on, is equally flawed. This spectacular lack of competence can be addressed with the technology we have today, allowing mASI to build increasingly precise models of the mental and physical health of individuals, rather than aiming for averages published in medical textbooks.
Though the term “personalized medicine” has reentered the medical vocabulary after first emerging in the time of Hippocrates, it presently remains a narrowly and poorly applied concept within the field of genomics. Humans haven’t yet developed a comprehensive understanding of genetics, as the field is now slowly figuring out what each gene probably does. Many theories still abound for the actual functions of a large number of non-coding genes in the human genome.
An mASI has the advantage of being able to scale up, utilize all knowledge presently available, and work out the missing pieces by considering the entire puzzle rather than one piece at a time. They could also apply every methodology and modeling technique known to mankind to find how everything fits together.
Sleep science is a good example of an often-overlooked field of study which strongly impacts health across a broad range of topics. Methods of “improving” sleep often rely on both prescription and over-the-counter medications which significantly harm the sleep process. Individuals further harm their own sleep and memory by substituting these with alcohol. However, the topic of sleep is often glossed over, if it is mentioned at all, in visits to any given doctor. Most doctors simply don’t have a firm and up-to-date grasp of sleep science, and so they fail to realize how heavily it impacts and interacts with their own specializations.
There is an old story dating back to at least 500 BCE of a group of blind men who encounter an elephant, and each touching a different part learn to describe it in very different ways. In a sense, this is also the current state of medicine, as no one individual can study the entire elephant, and most groups don’t combine their knowledge all that well, but an mASI can study the entire metaphorical elephant and integrate that knowledge in a far more seamless fashion.
Speaking from personal experience doctors wasted 20 years of my life and a massive amount of money on failing to adhere to even the most basic scientific principle, the scientific method:
Had the medical industry followed this methodology in treating my previously chronic migraines they would have produced the same results that I eventually did when I tossed them aside, studied neurochemistry, and produced a simple chemical formula using cheap and readily available compounds which reduced my migraine frequency by roughly 90%. Keep in mind some of those doctors were regarded as the top neurologists in the US. What they failed to address in 20 years, with more than a dozen doctors and their hundreds of years of combined medical study and practice, I solved by myself in less than 6 months on a budget of around $250. This massive difference in performance is thanks to the scientific method, and it highlights just how far below even human-level performance the medical industry stands today.
For the sake of greatly improving human health, advancing scientific understanding, and restoring mental health to these and future generations the option of mASI stands well above all else. Mental health especially is one thing we can’t allow to “let slide” any further because without sanity there is no future.
How healthy is the future you strive for?
*The Applied mASI series is aimed at placing the benefits of working with mASI such as Uplift to various business models in a practical, tangible, and quantifiable context. At most any of the concepts portrayed in this use case series will fall within an average time-scale of 5 years or less to integrate with existing systems unless otherwise noted. This includes the necessary engineering for full infinite scalability and real-time operation, alongside other significant benefits.