Sam Altman, Arianna Huffington Launch AI Health Coaching Company

In a bid to revolutionize the health and wellness industry, Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington and OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman are backing a new AI health startup called Thrive AI Health, the pair said on Monday in an op-ed published by Time.

While the surge of artificial intelligence into the mainstream has been compared to an arms race, many are finding ways to use the technology to drive healthcare, wellness, and longevity research forward, including brain tumor and cancer detection and early Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

“AI has become central to [our] mission to improve health and productivity outcomes, and I’m incredibly passionate about the opportunity to leverage AI to deliver hyper-personalized behavior change,” Huffington wrote on Twitter.

Huffington, who co-founded the news outlet The Huffington Post in 2005, launched Thrive Global in 2016 as a behavior change technology company that offers science-based tools and technologies, including artificial intelligence, to enhance productivity and well-being. That firm is joining the OpenAI Startup Fund in launching Thrive AI Health.

The CEO of Thrive AI Health will be DeCarlos Love, who worked on AI, sensors, and health and fitness wearables at Google and worked at Apple before that, according to the announcement.

According to Huffington, the new AI coach will be added to Thrive Global’s platform and will also be available in the Thrive Global mobile app. Thrive AI Health, Thrive Global claims, will use generative AI to “hyper-personalize and scale behavior change.”

“It will learn your preferences and patterns across the five behaviors: what conditions allow you to get quality sleep; which foods you love and don’t love; how and when you’re most likely to walk, move, and stretch; and the most effective ways you can reduce stress,” Altman and Huffington wrote. “Combine that with a superhuman long-term memory, and you have a fully integrated personal AI coach that offers real-time nudges and recommendations unique to you that allows you to take action on your daily behaviors to improve your health.”

Huffington emphasized a belief that AI could go beyond improving efficiency and deliver benefits to everyone.

“Using AI in this way would also scale and democratize the life-saving benefits of improving daily habits and address growing health inequities,” the pair wrote.

“Those with more resources are already in on the power of behavior change, with access to trainers, chefs, and life coaches,” they continued. “But since chronic diseases—like diabetes and cardiovascular disease—are distributed unequally across demographics, a hyper-personalized AI health coach would help make healthy behavior changes easier and more accessible.”

The Alice L. Walton Foundation is a strategic investor in the new initiative, which will also work with academic institutions and medical centers like Stanford Medicine.

Details of the investments backing Thrive AI Health were not disclosed.

AI has been tapped in other ways to make healthcare more accessible. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has been used to explain complex medical diagnoses and terminology, for example, giving patients and their families the ability to make informed decisions.

“Some of that was the fuel, and the fire ended up being our lack of understanding of these lab tests and reports,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Research and Incubations Peter Lee said during a presentation at the annual Healthy Longevity Global Innovator Summit in October. “The ability for GPT to give us guidance just brought the temperature down and really kept family harmony.”

Thrive Global did not immediately respond to an interview request from Decrypt.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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