Embracing the ethics of data and artificial intelligence (AI)

Written by:

Cindy Hoots

Chief Digital Officer & CIO

Heather Stewart

VP Ethics &Transparency, Global Sustainability

Jim Weatherall

VP Data Science and AI, R&D



Data science and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to transform our industry – from how we identify new drug targets and design clinical trials, to optimising our supply chain and personalising our medical and sales outreach based on individual customer needs. At AstraZeneca, we are embracing data science and AI across our organisation as we continue to push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines.

While our investment in data science and AI grows, so does our focus on the ethical implications of automating, augmenting and even autonomising aspects of the work we do.

Ethical implications when it comes to harnessing data and AI are not unique to us or even our industry. We want to be proactive in ensuring our approach is aligned with our sustainability commitments and company values. This is why we’ve launched a data and AI ethics position statement.


The position statement outlines five principles that we believe will ensure we - and our partners - are able to embrace data and AI in a way that allows us to remain a trusted member of the healthcare ecosystem.

To inform these principles, we engaged a diverse range of experts from within and outside our organisation. We’d like to thank everyone who participated in their creation. For more detail on each of the principles, please read our position statement.

Our work is not finished. We are committed to ongoing dialogue and to learning from each other as these areas mature.