How AI ‘learned’ to predict a person’s age by analyzing gut bacteria

| | February 15, 2019

The plethora of bacteria and other tiny organisms that live in your gut, often referred to as the gut microbiome, don’t just help you digest food and fight disease. As detailed in a new study, they also provide a very accurate biological clock that shows your physical age—a fact that may open up wide-ranging possibilities for health and longevity studies.

[T]he team describes how they examined 3,663 curated samples of gut bacteria from 1,165 healthy people, aged 20-90,  from countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.

A deep learning algorithm was then trained on data on 1,673 different microbial species from 90 percent of the samples. The AI was then tasked with predicting the ages of the remaining 10 percent of participants solely from data on their gut bacteria.

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The results, described as the first method to predict a human’s chronological age via gut microbiota analysis, showed that the system was able to predict age to within four years based on the gut bacteria data. Furthermore, the results seem to indicate that 39 of the microbial species analyzed are particularly important in relation to accurately predicting age.

Read full, original post: This AI Can Tell Your Age by Analyzing Your Gut Microbiome

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