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A robot successor? (AP/Evan Vucci)

In a desperate political age when who can say what's out of line or impossible, Politico's Michael Linhorst explores the strange idea of running a robot as president.

The subject of a robot president isn't new. Last year seemed to be ripe for such musings: IBM's Watson was proposed as a presidential candidate, and Gregory Turner-Rahman imagined the first robot president in book form.

Linhorst writes: "Yes, it sounds nuts. But the idea is that artificial intelligence could make America's big, complicated decisions better than any person could, without the drama or shortsightedness that we grudgingly accept from our human presidents."

Bottom line: We will never have a robot president. But the reach for a systematic approach to public governance may not go away.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 mins ago - Podcasts

Net neutrality on the line under Biden

Federal net neutrality rules are back on the table in the Biden administration, after being nixed by Trump, but now might be complicated by the debate over social media companies' behavior.

Axios Re:Cap digs into why net neutrality matters and what comes next with Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge and host of the Decoder podcast.

House grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted 326-78 on Thursday to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the way for the Senate to confirm President Biden's nominee for defense secretary as early as this week.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

Amanda Gorman steals the show on Inauguration Day

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

Poet Amanda Gorman by far generated the most average interactions on social media on Inauguration Day, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.