Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

A questioner raised an interesting prospect at TechFreedom's Back to the Future of Policy Summit earlier this week: the chance that artificial intelligence could be used to aid lawmakers on Capitol Hill as they make decisions. Automation has already come to the legal field — which overlaps with policymaking — but it is for lower-level tasks and isn't totally phasing out lawyers.

"I'm not saying it's 10 years from now, maybe it's 20 years from now," replied House Oversight Committee Counsel Mike Flynn. "But at some point I would imagine there's going to be a role for that in policy making."

Takeaway: It's a wonky reminder that the conversation about automation and the workforce is a broad one that includes jobs that seem totally safe right now.

We asked some lawmakers if they would trust a virtual legislative staffer. Reactions were mixed:"You definitely don't want to, especially being a former legislative aide, you don't want to throw the staff under the bus. So I guess I would want human supervision, so that we at least still had for better or worse all the elements of what comes with a human decision making process," said Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who added that "there's a certain amount of this that's still intuitive."Montana Sen. Steve Daines, a former tech exec, said that he's "always intrigued by technology, and having spent much of my life in technology I think you always want to keep an open mind about what could be in the future.""You can get a lot of research being done through technology," said California Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents part of Silicon Valley, "but ultimately the art of being a legislator requires judgement and I don't think you can ever train a robot to have compassion or to have empathy or to think about issues of justice."One caveat: Flynn said that "at least from a constituent relations perspective, I think it's always the case that constituents are going to prefer to talk to people."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.