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Americans owe more, save less, and are poorer than in decades

A greater share of Americans have more debt than money in the bank than at any point since 1962, according to Deutsche Bank economist Torsten Slok. And, in a note to clients yesterday, Slok said that, despite record stock market wealth and home price levels just shy of housing-bubble highs, Americans are poorer than at any point in nearly a quarter century.

Why it matters: The data suggest that the third-longest economic expansion in history, and the lowest jobless rate in 17 years, has benefitted an exceedingly thin slice of the American public.

Reproduced from Edward N. Wolf, Survey of Consumer Finances, Deutsche Bank Global Markets Research; Chart: Axios Visuals
Haley Britzky 18 hours ago
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AI researchers are in high demand, and their salaries prove it

U1208 Lab at Inserm, which studies cognitive sciences and robot-human communication. Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The top researcher for a new non-profit lab called OpenAI made more than $1.9 million in 2016, and two other researchers at the company made hundreds of thousands of dollars despite joining in March and June of that year, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The lucrative salaries illustrate the growing demand not only for artificial intelligence but also for those who understand the technology behind it. However, as the NYT points out, the trend also poses a major problem for universities and government agencies who need AI expertise, both to train the next generation and to integrate the technology into everyday life.

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Snapchat will allow users to buy products via augmented reality

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Snapchat is letting users buy products through a new advertisers' augmented reality feature in its app called "Shoppable AR."

Why it matters: It's one of the most sophisticated uses of augmented reality for marketing that's been rolled out to date — and now that people can buy things directly using the tool, it's likely to spur more investment in the technology.