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Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty

In a video announcing his bid for president today, Bernie Sanders, the grandfatherly senator from Vermont, brought up an unusual talking point: artificial intelligence and robotics.

What he said: Right at the halfway mark of the 10-minute video, Sanders took a stance on the future of work. "I'm running for president because we need to understand that artificial intelligence and robotics must benefit the needs of workers, not just corporate America and those who own that technology," Sanders said.

The big picture: For Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist, automation's painful effects on labor are a natural target. Other major candidates, like Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, haven't built this issue into their campaign platforms.

  • As we've reported, none of the candidates has gone as far as Andrew Yang, a tech entrepreneur who has made AI, robots and automation the centerpiece of his campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Why you'll hear about this again: Darrell West, director of the Brookings Center for Technology Innovation, says that bubbling discontent with Big Tech — the "techlash" — has launched these issues into the spotlight.

"Given public worries about technology and possible job losses, I can see workforce issues and economic prosperity being a central part of the upcoming campaign. Technology has major ramifications for all the big issues on the 2020 agenda."
— Darrell West, Brookings

Go deeper... Bernie Sanders: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate

Go deeper

13 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.