More fictional software: RIP-ware

BADMAP is an acronym for Bio-Actuarial Dyna-Metric Age Predictor. It works like this:

” A person’s DNA profile, family history, mental history, lifestyle profile, every variable –how many trips to the grocery per week, how many airplane flights, hobbies, food, booze, number of times per month you had sex and with whom, everything down to what color socks you put on in the morning– were all fed into the software. RIP-ware would then calculate and predict how and when you’d die. In the testing, they had programmed it retroactively with the DNA and lifestyle profile of thousand of people who had already died. RIP-ware predicted their deaths with an accuracy of 99.07 percent. In a simulation, it predicted the death of Elvis Presley — just four months from he actual date of his demise. The ultimate “killer app.”

Insurance companies had been working on similar programs. What a windfall it would be for them if they could sell life insurance to someone they knew was going to live another forty years–and conversely decline life insurance to someone the computer predicted would be pushing up daisies within two years.

Another field of vast potential were the old folks’ homes. typically, these demanded that a prospective resident turn over his and her entire net worth in return for perpetual care. You could live two years or twenty years; that was their gamble. But if a nursing home knew,in advance, that John Q. smith was going to have a fatal heart attack in 2.3 years while watching an ad for toenail fungus ointment on the evening news, they would much rather have his nest egg as advance payment than that of, say, Jane Q. Jones, who RIP-ware predicted would live another twenty-five years and die at the ripe old age of 105.

Page 119, Boomsday, by Christopher Buckley

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