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OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, launches Thrive AI, a personalized wellness health coach

OpenAI Startup Fund and Thrive Global Launch Thrive AI Health: A New Personalized AI Health Coach

In a significant move, the OpenAI Startup Fund and Thrive Global, the venture capital firm founded by Arianna Huffington, unveiled a new venture on Monday: Thrive AI Health. This innovative company aims to develop a highly personalized artificial intelligence coach.

The new AI health coach will be accessible through a smartphone app or a virtual assistant.

DeCarlos Love, who previously led the fitness and health experience at Fitbit, will head Thrive AI Health. The company plans to train its AI coach using scientific research, medical data, and partnerships with esteemed institutions such as Stanford University School of Medicine. The goal is to create an all-encompassing health data platform that can be accessed via a smartphone app or a virtual assistant, integrated with Thrive’s existing products. This platform will learn users’ behavior patterns and provide real-time health advice.

Details about the investment deal, including the amount of venture capital involved, were not disclosed by OpenAI and Thrive Global.

DeCarlos Love, who will serve as the chief executive, brings a wealth of experience from his time at Google LLC, where he led projects on sensors, AI, and machine learning algorithms across devices like Fitbit, Pixel Watch, and Wear OS. Before Google, he held significant product roles at Apple Inc. and the fitness wearable company Athos.

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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Arianna Huffington expressed in a TIME op-ed that while AI is often seen as a tool for increasing productivity, its potential to enhance health outcomes has yet to be fully realized. They believe it’s time for effective AI systems to be made accessible to consumers.

AI has the potential to do far more than just enhance efficiency and optimization; it can fundamentally improve our health spans and life spans. Health involves more than just visits to the doctor, wrote Altman and Huffington. Much like how the New Deal developed physical infrastructure to transform the nation, AI will become a crucial part of a more effective healthcare system that continuously supports people’s health.

Thrive AI Health aims to leverage generative AI to provide personalized behavior change advice, act as a preventative tool, and optimize disease treatment using personal context. It will guide users towards healthier lifestyles by offering insights into their daily behavior and gently nudging them in the right direction.

The vision for Thrive AI Health is ambitious, with the company aiming to combat chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 90% of the U.S.’s $4.5 trillion healthcare spending goes towards treating chronic illness and mental health conditions, which can often be prevented or controlled through behavior changes. A persistent AI assistant capable of day-to-day coaching could significantly reduce pain and suffering for millions of Americans.

To achieve this mission, Thrive AI Health has partnered with academic institutions and medical centers to bring the AI coach to their communities. These partners include Stanford Medicine, the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine, and the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University.

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