Ethical Issues of Artificial Intelligence & Assisted Reproductive Technologies
The downward trend in fertility rates has not surprisingly led to an increase in assisted reproduction techniques (ART), and assisted reproduction today is characterised by high-tech, high-end investment and international fertility companies, with the global fertility services market expected to grow beyond US$25 billion by 2026. Much has happened since the birth of the first test tube baby in 1978, including personalised ovarian stimulation, extended embryonic culture, intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, embryo selection (leading to elective single embryo transfer) and oocyte vitrification. Nevertheless, the success rate of IVF currently stands at around 30%, even though this depends heavily on a number of factors, such as age and changes in the physical and psychosocial environments. Many women, therefore, have to go through multiple rounds of IVF such that the process can be time-consuming, and challenges patients both financially and emotionally. Research is thus increasingly focused on how to improve treatments and outcomes, and rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence look promising and are increasingly being utilised in fertility clinics around the world.
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