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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

By the numbers: Census to show first decline of white population

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Brookings Institute; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The latest census is expected to show the first decline in history for the nation's non-Hispanic white population, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

Why it matters: The U.S. is rapidly moving toward a majority-minority population — with the racial and ethnic diversity most apparent in younger cohorts. "This really is moving in a direction that’s going to favor the issues and the political agendas of these younger people," Frey told Axios.

30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats plot filibuster workarounds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several Democratic lawmakers are moving away from calls to eliminate the filibuster while privately discussing alternatives to bypass it, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: These talks have ramped up in earnest following the Republicans’ move Tuesday to block a measure to protect and expand voting rights.

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Infrastructure's remaining potholes

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

President Biden declared victory in announcing the bipartisan infrastructure package. Now comes the hard part: negotiating with his own party on the separate reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: By trying to simultaneously pass two massive spending bills, Biden and congressional leaders are attempting a legislative feat that will likely require Congress to work through its August recess — and potentially well into the fall, according to lawmakers and senior staffers.