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Photo: Tatyana Makeyeva/TASS/Getty

A central promise of artificial intelligence is to automate away tedious routine tasks, but a lingering worry is that it will chip away at our humanity, causing people to lean on computers to the detriment of their ability to think critically.

Catch up quick: A new survey from the PR firm Edelman, conducted last summer with 1,000 Americans, shows widespread worry around the social effects of swiftly advancing AI.

  • 74% said "intelligent and human-like" devices will lessen the need for interactions with other people and lead to more isolation.
  • 67% said AI increases the possibility of "digitally enhanced group think, lessening creativity and freedom of thought."
  • 71% said AI will lead to a "dumbing down of people."
"People tend to trust the information they are presented by their digital devices, and it’s possible with AI — given the vast amounts of personal data that drive those systems — to steadily persuade individuals and entire groups to a certain point of view."
Gary Grossman, head of Edelman's AI center

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."

Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Technology

AI and automation are creating a hybrid workforce

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AI and automation are receiving a boost during the coronavirus pandemic that in the short term is creating a new hybrid workforce rather than destroying jobs outright.

The big picture: While the forces of automation and AI will eliminate some jobs and create some new ones, the vast majority will remain but be dramatically changed. The challenge for employers will be ensuring workforces are ready for the effects of technology.