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!

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

AI hands are beginning to fear that, if leaders and ordinary people are certain that robots and automation will push humans out of work, no one will try to forestall what they regard as the inevitable. That is, intelligent machines really will take over, as the most apocalyptic forecasts suggest.

The bottom line: Experts debate much about the future impact of artificial intelligence, but there is no dispute that the world is headed for — or already in — a massive economic disruption in which whole categories of jobs will be wiped out. An increasing consensus is that the main answer is a massive reskilling effort to move endangered workers into entirely new careers.

Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, bristles at some of the more extreme forecasts of the AI future, such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak's view that humans could become "pets" of robots. Such talk is "incredibly irresponsible in my view because it will become a self fulfilling prophecy," Kasriel tells Axios.

"If everyone is convinced of that outcome, then no one has any incentive to invest in fixing the system (and in particular, in massive investments in skills training), which will then ensure that we, truly, don't have the skills needed to compete and will lead to a massive amount of unemployment, income inequality and social unrest."

Matthew Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, worked on a study released last week at Davos that maps out how that profound reskilling of workers can take place.

  • He agreed that attitudes matter in terms of avoiding the nightmare forecasts.
  • "When you are convinced of a negative outcome, it's pretty hard to escape it," he told Axios.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.