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13 JULY, 2017

The BGRF and Diversity.AI announce a new tool to assess organizational diversity

Thursday, July 13, 2017, London, UK: The Biogerontology Research Foundation releases the results of their first pilot study, conducted as part of their ongoing partnership with Diversity.AI, alongside scientists at Diversity.AI, Youth Laboratories, University of Virginia, Insilico Medicine, University of Oxford and the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen. The pilot study involved the application of deep learning to characterizing the organizational diversity of the 500 largest companies from the 2016 Forbes Global 2000 list, applying deep learned predictors of race, sex and age to the executive management of companies and ranking them according to a sex, age and race-diversity index. The purpose of the deep learned predictor presented in the study is to serve as a means of rapidly and impartially assessing organizational diversity.

IMAGE: THIS IS DIVERSITY.AI LOGO.

"This pilot study is the latest fruits borne from the Biogerontology Research Foundation's ongoing partnership with Diversity.AI, and its implications for reducing age-discrimination in the face of rapidly aging populations and a future workforce increasingly dominated by older individuals is of particular interest to us. Ageism has been with us for a long time, and today seems to have fewer stigmas associated with it than sexism and racism, which is very unfortunate. Considering population aging and the increasing role that older individuals will come to play in society as demographic aging continues, efforts to reduce age-based discrimination become increasingly important, as does the need for tools able to assist in assessing the age-based diversity of organizations." said Franco Cortese, Deputy Director of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

While Diversity.AI's mission extends beyond aging to include reducing sex and race-based discrimination, the think tank recognizes the deleterious role that ageism plays in society today and the increasing need to reduce age-based discrimination in the face of demographic aging and the growth of the elderly portion of developed countries' populations, and many of their efforts are focused on the prevention of age-based discrimination in artificially intelligent systems, including the development of more inclusive biomarkers of aging utilizing data from a wider range of elderly patient population ethnicities in order to minimize the extent with which ethnic variations in aging biomarkers decrease the predictive accuracy of AI-based predictors of chronological age and quantifiers of biological age.

"Diversity.AI is an international think tank dedicated to reducing discrimination and bias in AI systems in the many industries where these technologies are rapidly proliferating. This mission is of increasing importance because AI is quickly becoming the main driver of progress in so many fields of science, technology and human endeavor that it is easy for one to lose count. From healthcare to finance to governance, AI is galvanizing rapid paradigm shifts all around us, and efforts aiming to reduce bias and discrimination in artificially-intelligent systems are more important now than they ever have been before" said Dmitry Kaminskiy, Trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

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About the Biogerontology Research Foundation

The Biogerontology Research Foundation is a UK non-profit research foundation and public policy center seeking to fill a gap within the research community, whereby the current scientific understanding of the aging process is not yet being sufficiently exploited to produce effective medical interventions. The BGRF funds and conducts research which, building on the body of knowledge about how aging happens, aims to develop biotechnological interventions to remediate the molecular and cellular deficits which accumulate with age and which underlie the ill-health of old age.

Addressing aging damage at this most fundamental level will provide an important opportunity to produce the effective, lasting treatments for the diseases and disabilities of aging, which are required to improve quality of life in the elderly. The BGRF seeks to use the entire scope of modern biotechnology to attack the changes that take place in the course of aging, and to address not just the symptoms of age-related diseases but also the mechanisms of those diseases.

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