Future of Work
Ben Geman Feb 16
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Tracking Tesla's Model 3
Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bloomberg has built an interesting tool to track the number of Tesla's mass-market Model 3 electric vehicles that are emerging from the company's California factory.

Driving the news: Check out their Model 3 production tracker here, which as of Friday morning was showing 7,535 built and a current rate of 956 per week.

Ben Geman Feb 15
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Sizing up Dyson's electric vehicle and battery plan
Sir James Dyson. Photo: Stuart Wilson / BFC via Getty Images

A deeply reported Financial Times piece provides new details about British inventor James Dyson's multi-billion dollar bid to enter the electric vehicle market with a car launched in 2020 or 2021.

Why it matters: Dyson is a hugely successful entrepreneur, so his EV initiative can't be ignored when the innovation and market-share battle is pretty open.

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Foreign workers: in demand, and anxious
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty

At a time of a federal crackdown on immigration, American companies say they need more foreign skilled workers to fill open positions, and that they are offering generous perks to attract them. But workers abroad are increasingly anxious about the environment in the U.S., and are pushing back, according to a new survey.

Quick take: Last year, half the companies surveyed by Harris for Envoy, an immigration services firm, said they expect to increase their foreign hires. This year, the number is 59%. But a third of their candidates are so anxious over U.S. immigration policy that they either refuse to accept, or won't start work until their visa is approved.

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AI is the new battleground in geopolitics
Photo: Oed / ullstein bild / Getty

Artificial intelligence is becoming a dimension of grand geopolitics, with countries worried about who will achieve the big advances first, and the technology merging with traditional military doctrine.

Why it matters: AI is now "about political dominance. It's fear over who has the better AI system," Deepashri Varadharajan, an analyst with CB Insights who wrote a new AI report published today, tells Axios.

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Boston Dynamics' dog and brain mystery

You've seen it by now — Boston Dynamics' latest demonstration of anthropomorphic (actually canine) pyrotechnics.

lots of robots can find a door handle and open it, Atkeson said. But "legged robots have much more mobility tha current wheeled robots with two arms."
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Retraining isn't a clear answer to lost jobs
Goldstein with reporters this week. Photo: Steve LeVine

Amy Goldstein's Janesville is this year's Hillbilly Elegy — the go-to volume for understanding what is really going on in the hearts of the U.S. midsection. The book chronicles six years in a Wisconsin town where the demise of its central actor — a General Motors plant — pushes many of its long-middle class residents into poverty.

Quick take: In a survey that Goldstein commissioned, she found that, contrary to the popular consensus, reskilling is not necessarily the answer for reemploying people thrown out of work.

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Where U.S. income inequality is the most severe

A new study of income inequality could be bad news for those expecting the GOP's tax cut to trickle down to the middle class. The report by the Brookings Institution found that some places saw shrinking gaps between the top and bottom of the income scale between 2014 and 2016 — but in other places, the gaps grew much larger.

Data: Brookings; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Why this matters: This shows gains on one end of the income scale don't necessarily translate into gains at the other end, at least in the short term. It also suggests that different places have different economies, meaning one-size-fits-all national policy solutions aren't likely to be universally successful.

Ina Fried Feb 14
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Tech industry aims to reassure Congress on AI
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

The tech industry hopes to use a House committee hearing Wednesday to both educate Congress on the potential benefits of artificial intelligence while also downplaying many concerns as the work of science fiction.

Why it matters: AI is seen as one of the biggest opportunities in technology, and business in general, but the degree to which regulators embrace or oppose it could dictate the pace of innovation.

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Expert Voices
What Amazon’s expansion into shipping means for FedEx and UPS
Prime Air–branded airplane
An Amazon-branded Boeing 767 freighter, nicknamed Amazon One. Photo: Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

Amazon's move to provide shipping services to its business customers extends a trend at the e-commerce giant of subsidizing its operations by converting a cost center to a revenue source. For the first time, it puts Amazon in direct competition with key logistics providers FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.

Why it Matters: Amazon has a history of disrupting incumbents’ billion-dollar categories (think: Amazon Web Services). Expect Delivery-as-a-Service (DAAS) to enter the e-commerce lexicon and shipping expenses to reduce their drain on the company’s earnings.

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Peter Thiel: AI is communist
Peter Thiel speaking at the National Republican Convention
Peter Thiel, speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Venture capitalist and Trump advisor Peter Thiel recently engaged in a wide-ranging conversation at Stanford University with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, during which he said:

Quote“Crypto is decentralizing, AI is centralizing. Or, if you want to frame it more ideologically, crypto is libertarian and AI is communist."

Thiel added that he believes only the first half of that equation is regularly discussed in Silicon Valley, owing to left-wing bias.