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Creative Commons

Researchers in the U.K. are suggesting that — like aircraft — robots be equipped with a black box that records their decisions, the rationale behind them, and their step-by-step actions, per the Guardian. The proposal is a half-way solution to a growing push in the field for "explainable artificial intelligence," or AI with which you can engage in robust discussion about its opinions.

Alan Winfield, a professor at the University of the West of England, and Marina Jirotka, a professor at Oxford University, are proposing the "ethical black box" as a step toward understanding accidents involving robots and AI-backed systems. They were to argue the case for such mandatory systems at a conference Thursday at the University of Surrey.

Why it matters: Winfield argues, "Serious accidents will need investigating, but what do you do if an accident investigator turns up and discovers there is no internal datalog, no record of what the robot was doing at the time of the accident? It'll be more or less impossible to tell what happened."

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Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

7 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.