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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The insurance industry is learning how to incorporate artificial intelligence in various scenarios to determine liability and calculate risk, including AVs, where the responsibility for malfunctions and accidents could fall on safety drivers, on the vehicle manufacturer, or on software and hardware providers.

Why it matters: Insuring AVs is an unprecedented insurance challenge, as they will generate huge volumes of data from a variety of parts and will be comprised of complex systems that share responsibility in interlocking ways.

What's needed: Regardless of what’s behind a claim, insurance relies on past data for predictive analytics.

  • Because AVs do not have decades of safety records, insurers will need programs that can extrapolate as much insight as possible from a small number of initial incidents.
  • Once initial datasets are established, insurers will still need AI that can sift through all of a vehicle's relevant data from each incident reported to assign responsibility.

What's happening: AI is already used in catastrophic storm insurance, another insurance challenge that involves unprecedented events, and sifting through massive amounts of data. AI-based systems might work for AVs in multiple ways:

  • Insurers could deploy advanced computing from the moment a customer files a claim to begin sorting through vehicle data from the incident in question.
  • AI could prioritize and investigate the most important questions at a given point in time, and combine reported claims with weather reports and data from on-the-ground sensors to get the full context of an incident.
  • Using AI throughout the claims review process could help risk managers spot patterns and anticipate other reports that may follow, whether that's because of a major weather or traffic event or because of a faulty component within an AV's tech stack.

The bottom line: Insuring AVs will rely on numerous AI-based tools for data analysis: for building out a preliminary database, for analyzing individual incidents, and for identifying patterns in order to improve safety going forward.

Haywood Marsh is general manager of NetClaim, an insurance software subsidiary of NAVEX Global.

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Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

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  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”