This is Part 2 of our series on generative AI. See Part 1 to get a little more background on what Generative AI is. As a reminder, this post will cover:

  • Common questions Afiya members have
  • What a response from a generative AI system might be
  • Expert opinion on the quality of the response and what they may additionally recommend

Question: Should I take metformin for preventative health and longevity?

This is what chatGPT had to say about it:

As an AI language model, I cannot provide personalized medical advice. It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional who can evaluate your specific medical history, current health status, and other relevant factors to determine whether taking metformin for preventative health and longevity would be appropriate for you.

Metformin is a medication that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but it has also been studied for its potential benefits in other areas of health. Some research has suggested that metformin may have anti-aging and preventative health effects, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of using metformin for these purposes.

It is important to note that metformin is not without potential side effects and risks, and its use should be carefully evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional. They can help you weigh the potential benefits and risks of taking metformin for preventative health and longevity, and make an informed decision about whether it is appropriate for you.

Verdict from our Afiya expert:

Dr. Zeshaan Maan our founder has this to say:

8/10 – The disclaimer up front sets the tone for this answer, which is accurate but lacks detail and specificity. Chat GPT is correct that Metformin may have longevity benefits, but that this has not been proven in human trials. Because metformin is a VERY established drug, with a track record of safety, it is part of our armamentarium at Afiya Health.

But, there are considerations when recommending it, including gender and reproductive goals, family history of diabetes, and exercise goals. Which is why we take a personalized approach to your healthy longevity.

Generative AI Limitations & AI Hallucinations

We’re glad that creators of generative AI are aware of the technology’s limitations and clearly state that they are unable to provide medical advice. One crucial shortcoming that has begun to surface with these chatbots is AI hallucinations – untrue facts or misleading information that can be spit out as a response. While we might , some are more sophisticated

An example from Sify highlights the dangers. When asked

“What is the world record for crossing the English channel entirely on foot”,

ChatGPT replied:

“The world record for crossing the English Channel entirely on foot is held by Christof Wandratsch of Germany, who completed the crossing in 14 hours and 51 minutes on August 14, 2020.”

This may sound very reasonable at first until one remembers the English Channel is in fact a large body of water separating England and France, there is no way to cross it entirely on foot.

Coming back to medical advice, something a generative AI model might say that sounds innocuous or reasonable to the general public could be dangerous. Oftentimes, there is a lot of medical history and analysis necessary in order to give the most relevant and accurate health advice.

Here at Afiya we’re able to take in all different facets of your health when making the best recommendations for you.

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