U. Ivanov/Creative Commons

There is a fundamental question embedded in the debate over the future of work: will expanding automation pass without damage to job creation -- or are we headed into a catastrophic job crisis?

Last week, Google's Eric Schmidt embraced the optimistic view. Speaking in Paris, he said humans will work alongside machines, not be replaced by them. Indeed, " there is in fact going to be a jobs shortage," he said.

But a number of technologists and venture capitalists think that the speed and breadth of automation will lead to massive job loss. "If we don't have machines and software capable of performing most of the tasks we call labor in 30, 40, 50 years, then it will be a failure of Google and our technology ecosystem," said Doug Clinton, a venture capitalist with Loup Ventures.

Between the lines: There appears to be consensus that the jobs picture will be fine for the next five or even 10 years. But after that is when the sides diverge: artificial intelligence is expected to gain commercial traction and begin to take a serious bite out of jobs.

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Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new rules on Monday to mute microphones to allow President Trump and Joe Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate, AP reports.

Why it matters: In the September debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, compared with Biden's 22 interruptions of Trump.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.