Life2Vec AI Death Calculator in Germany [2024]

Life2Vec AI Death Calculator in Germany. Life2Vec is an artificial intelligence system developed by German scientists that claims to predict an individual’s remaining life expectancy based on a variety of personal data inputs.

The technology has generated controversy in Germany due to ethical concerns around its intended commercial use as well as questions about the accuracy of its life expectancy projections.

Development of Life2Vec AI

  • Life2Vec was created by a team of data scientists and medical researchers at Heidelberg University.
  • It uses an advanced machine learning algorithm called Life2Vec that is able to analyze correlations between various personal data points and life expectancy.
  • The algorithm was trained on a large dataset of over 500,000 German citizens with known birth and death dates plus associated medical history, socioeconomic details, lifestyle factors and more.
  • By recognizing patterns between this data and actual observed lifespans, Life2Vec is able to produce a personalized projection for an individual’s remaining life expectancy along with a estimated confidence level.

Controversy Around Commercial Launch

  • Heidelberg University licensed their technology to German startup Life2 GmbH which aimed to launch a commercial service in 2022 allowing individuals to obtain personalized life expectancy projections.
  • Life2’s co-founder declared this would provide “empowering information about health and life decisions.” However, many German experts and politicians raised ethical concerns:
  • Data privacy advocates worried about exploitation of users’ sensitive personal data.
  • Medical ethicists questioned the accuracy and potential harm from individuals receiving a disturbing life expectancy projection.
  • Patient advocates warned those with serious illness could face distress, discrimination or denial of services.
  • German politicians across the political spectrum called for investigating and potentially banning such AI-powered predictive analytics.

Accuracy Concerns Over Methodology

  • While Life2Vec’s algorithms utilize advanced AI and datasets, researchers have questioned real-world limitations:
  • Training data is overwhelmingly of European ethnicity, restricting applicability to diverse populations.
  • Limited inputs about genetics, epigenetics and microbiomics may reduce precision of projections.
  • Environmental factors like accidents are inherently difficult to predict at a personal level over decades long time horizons.
  • Modest changes in lifestyle can dramatically impact life expectancy, but human behavior is notoriously hard to predict by AI.
  • There are worries a perceived authority of computerized projections can lead to “self-fulfilling prophecies” influencing behaviors and health outcomes.

German Government Intervention

  • By mid-2022 the German parliament approved a special investigation into Life2Vec over growing bipartisan political pressure.
  • Expert witnesses from science, medicine and technology ethics presented evidence questioning validity and social impacts.
  • The German Ethics Council issued a strong condemnation of deploying predictive analytics for individual life expectancy projections.
  • Citing the investigation and ethical concerns, German federal regulators rejected Life2’s application to use Life2Vec commercially for five years.

Ongoing Debate Over Responsible Use

  • While the controversy may have stalled its creators’ commercial plans, discussion continues around Life2Vec and similar AI technologies:
  • Could predictive analytics be ethically used to guide public health policies rather than provide individual projections?
  • What privacy safeguards and fair representations of confidence intervals should apply to life expectancy projections?
  • Should certain categories like children or those with terminal illness be protected from receiving such AI predictions?


The emergence of Life2Vec spotlighted serious ethical issues around AI’s role in predicting life expectancy as well as the responsible use of personal data.

As machine learning technologies inevitably progress, German legislators, policy experts and health authorities continue debating regulatory boundaries to protect both ethical norms and innovation opportunities. The ongoing conversation around Life2Vec will help guide responsible development of predictive health analytics.


What is Life2Vec?

Life2Vec is an artificial intelligence system developed by researchers at Heidelberg University in Germany. It uses an advanced machine learning algorithm to predict an individual’s remaining life expectancy based on their personal data such as medical history, lifestyle factors, and genetics.

Why was it controversial?

Life2Vec sparked controversy when the university licensed the technology to a startup called Life2 that aimed to launch it commercially as an online death calculator. Critics raised concerns about data privacy, the accuracy of predictions, and the ethics of telling people their likely death dates.

Was Life2Vec accurate in its predictions?

The accuracy of Life2Vec’s life expectancy projections was debated intensely. While the algorithm was trained on a large dataset, some experts questioned whether genetics, environment, behavior and other unpredictable factors could really be incorporated to make accurate predictions at the individual level.

Did the German government ban Life2Vec?

The German government launched an investigation into Life2Vec after politicians raised bipartisan ethical concerns. While they didn’t outright ban the technology, federal regulators rejected Life2’s application to use Life2Vec commercially based on the ongoing investigation.

Can this kind of AI ever be used ethically?

It’s still up for debate whether predictive analytics technology like Life2Vec could or should be used ethically. Some argue it could guide public health policy decisions if applied responsibly, while critics contend such systems infringe on privacy rights and could cause more harm than good if misapplied.

What does the future hold for such predictive AI systems?

Life expectancy projection systems using AI and personal data are likely to improve in accuracy over time. However, the Life2Vec controversy demonstrated societies’ widespread apprehension about the ethics behind these technologies. Governments will likely impose strict regulations around the use of AI death calculators or predictors.

Should people have the right to know their predicted death dates?

Opinion remains divided on whether individuals should have access to AI-generated predictions of their own death dates. Those in favor argue a right to such personal information about one’s health, while critics dispute its accuracy and caution about psychological impacts. Regulators continue wrestling with this question.