Bioethics Advisory Committee (BAC)
- Consultation Period:
- 02 May 2023 - 14 Jul 2023
PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON ETHICAL, LEGAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES ARISING FROM BIG DATA AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE USE IN HUMAN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
1. The Bioethics Advisory Committee (BAC) has developed a public consultation paper on ethical, legal and social issues arising from ‘Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Use in Human Biomedical Research’ and invites public feedback from 2 May 2023 to 14 July 2023.
Summary of Key Issues
2.With advances in information technology, data and computational analytics in recent decades, the use of big data and AI in human biomedical research is becoming increasingly important, enabling researchers and healthcare professionals to analyse massive datasets, generate useful insights, and enhance data-driven decisions. While the growing use of big data and AI in biomedical research promises benefits, it also raises ethical issues such as the need for protecting data privacy versus ensuring societal benefit; the importance of obtaining informed consent and respecting individual’s rights and autonomy; and the extent of data security obligations with respect to the value of data.
3.Recognising these ethical challenges, the BAC has developed a public consultation paper ‘Big Data and AI Use in Human Biomedical Research’ to discuss the ethical principles underpinning the use of big data and AI applications in human biomedical research and selected use-cases in clinical research. The paper is intended to guide academics, researchers, healthcare professionals, Clinical Ethics Committees (CECs) and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) on the ethical use of big data and AI applications in human biomedical research. Other clinical or healthcare aspects will not be covered within the scope of the paper.
4.The BAC would like to invite the public to provide views and feedback on the potential ethical, legal and social issues that could arise from the use of big data and AI in human biomedical research, such as responsible data usage, data ownership, custodianship, and stewardship, data privacy, accessibility and security, data anonymisation and other ethical considerations and issues specific to AI. Please refer to Annex A for the outline of key ethical issues and questions raised in the consultation paper.
How to Participate
5.A copy of the public consultation paper is available here. The public consultation paper can also be accessed from the BAC website at www.bioethics-singapore.gov.sg
6. The BAC welcomes feedback on the issues discussed in the consultation paper, or any other aspects on the ethical use of big data and AI applications in human biomedical research in Singapore. All comments should be sent in, together with the completed respondent’s form, by 14 July 2023:
• By email to:
• By post to:
Biomedical Ethics Coordinating Office
1 Maritime Square
#09-66 HarbourFront Centre
• By online feedback form at:
7.There will be focus group discussions conducted virtually via Zoom in June 2023. The BAC will invite representatives from various academic, research and healthcare institutions, Clinical Ethics Committees, Institutional Review Boards, professional bodies and societies, as well as industry partners to participate in these sessions.
8.A summary of the main comments/feedback received, together with the final report and recommendations will be published on the BAC website and REACH Portal in end 2023.