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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
The Real Problem with American Taxes: Their Complexity; How to End the World's Ultimate "Pay For Play" Set-Up; The Trump Tape, And What It Means For 2016; The Do's And Don'ts Of Debating; How Will Trump Remarks on Women Affect Election?; Interview with Ginni Rometty; Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 9, 2016 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:17] FAREED ZAKARIA, cNN HOST: This is GPS, THE GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live today.
We will start the show with Donald Trump's banter on that bus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And when you're a star, they you let do it. You can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: As a presidential candidate ever recovered from such a revelation, will Trump? l have a great panel to discuss it: Jon Meacham, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, James Fallows. They will also look ahead at tonight's debate by looking back at the history of presidential debates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Here we go again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Also, we will bring you a glimpse of the future and the artificial intelligence that is becoming more and more powerful by the day. I will talk to Ginni Rometty, the head of IBM, the company behind Watson. Will Watson take our jobs or help us to do those jobs better?
We will get to the elephant in the room in a moment, Donald Trump's vulgar comments about women. But first, I wanted to talk about the scandal before that one last week, his taxes. And on that issue, here's my take.
Donald Trump has done America a great public service. No, really. By taking advantage of the country's tax laws in such a spectacular fashion, he has shown a spotlight on the corruption that is at the heart of American politics, the tax code. See, when most people discuss taxes, they tend to talk about it in left-right terms. The right says the taxes are too high; the left worries that the rich don't pay their fair share. But the facts don't support either position. The simplest comprehensive way to judge a country's tax burden is to look at its tax revenues from all levels of government as a percentage of GDP and the U.S. has the fourth lowest burden in the industrialized world, ranking 31st out of 34 OECD countries.
The U.S.'s percentage is actually lower today than it was in 2000, while the OECD average has stayed about the same, nor is it true that the rich don't pay much in America. Now, obviously, some people managed to arrange their affairs so they don't pay many or possibly, in Trump's case, any taxes but the federal government derives most of its revenues from the income tax and 70 percent of federal income tax is paid by the top 10 percent of Americans. It's a very progressive system.
The problem with American taxes is something different, their complexity. The U.S. has the world's longest tax code. The scholar Sean Ehrlich actually tabulated its word count which is 3,866,392 words. German and France have codes that are less than 10 percent as long, and size makes for burdens.
In most international comparisons, the U.S. scores very poorly on this measure. For example, the World Bank's ease of doing business index ranks the U.S. 53rd for its corporate tax system. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report post executives on the five biggest burdens of doing business in a country. For the U.S. numbers' one and two, are tax rates and tax regulations.
Even though American is generally more competitive than other rich countries, it's taxation system is much more complicated and inefficient. Why this anomaly? The answer is that it is intentional. A feature, not a bug in the system.
The complexity of the tax code exists by design because it allows for the distinctive feature of the American political system, fundraising. America is unique among democracies in requiring at all levels of politics that vast amounts of cash be raised from the private sector. In order to get this money, congressman and senators need something to offer in return. And what they sell are amendments to the tax code.
When you pay $5,000 to have a stale breakfast with a congressman, you're not paying for his insights or personality. You and others like you are buying a line of the tax code, which is why it is thousands and thousands of pages long. It is the world's ultimate pay-for-play setup.
There are only two ways to fix this problem. One would be to simply stop people from paying politicians. But the supreme court ruled in Buckley versus Valeo in 1976 that money is speech and thus, constitutionally protected.
[10:05:04] As far as I know, this is a view shared by no other western democracy. So that leaves one other path, take away what congress sells. If the
tax code were made short and simple with a handful of deductions, politicians would have little to offer people as a quid pro quo. You could still pay them for their ideas and personality but I suspect that the flow of money would slow to a trickle.It is the simple single solution to the cancer in American politics. For more, go to cnn.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week and let's get started.
ZAKARIA: Let's get straight to Donald Trump's newest troubles in the wake of the leaked tape, the trickle of high level Republicans who have repudiated Trump has gotten stronger. Just yesterday, Condoleezza Rice and John McCain both added their names to the anti- Trump list.
Meanwhile, as far as the Donald himself, he says there's "Zero chance I will quit". But just how much of a game-changer is this 11-year-old tape. Let's take a look at it with some historical perspective. Joining me now are Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer prize-winning biographer and historian, the author of the recent George H.W. Bush biography, 'Destiny and Power'. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and James Fallows who was the Chief speechwriter to President Jimmy Carter, he is now national correspondent for the Atlantic.
Jon, let me start with you. Can you recall in any point in history where something this startling has happened with just one month to go?
JON MEACHAM, BIOGRAPHER, HISTORIAN: Well, October surprises come almost every year. 1972, Dr. Kissinger came out and said peace was at hand. The fact that we've gone from issues of war and peace as an October surprise to access Hollywood may disprove Darwin, which we can talk about.
I think that even in recent history, you have George W. Bush's DUI arrest which came four days before the election in which he himself is convinced, cost him the popular vote in some quarters. And in 2004, Osama Bin Laden issued a video tape that Senator Kerry also believes hurt him significantly.
To me, what the Trump story does is,in terms of political narrative, in terms of life, when you hear something, it either changes your view or affirms your view. Sort of like the old saying that all stories are about a man goes on a trip or goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town, so does this change or affirm? It seemed to me this is one of the most remarkably affirming developments that one could have in terms of the popular impression of Trump.
ZAKARIA: Jim, to that point, you know, to that point, what strikes me about this is, didn't we know this already?
I mean, the many, many references in the Howard Stern audio tapes, you know, testimony from other people, the controversy around Miss Universe, all of it is part of the same pattern, you know, which basically is that Trump objectifies women very, very clearly, distinctly, essentially seeing them as objects of interest for men. Why do you think this revelation has been so much more dramatic? Is this just the straw that broke the camel's back?
JAMES FALLOWS, WRITER: I think it's partly what Jon says the fact of hearing and seeing it in real time, also seeing the contrast between the talk inside the bus and then this gentlemanly demeanor when he gets off the bus and starts talking to the young actress, I think, that has a kind of vividness.
If you recall over the last year, I think many of us in discussions like this in around the country have wondered why things that would have stopped any previous candidate had not stopped Donald Trump? Now this started, I think, when he was making fun of John McCain as a loser for having been captured during the Vietnam war then mocking a disabled reporter and on down the long list. And so I think we had sort of developed a sense of anything was going to be possible for the people who were really for Trump and for reasons that I'm sure we will look back on when, considering this election, suddenly this was the thing.
It wasn't the Mexican judge, it wasn't build the wall, it wasn't no taxes, it wasn't the thousand other thing including the Howard Stern tapes that really pushed people over somehow, this did it. And on the historical comparisons, too. The only thing that the spectacle of the last 24 hours makes me think of is the last week or so before Richard Nixon finally steps down when one after another Republicans began stepping away from him.
[10:10:06] I think if this were a normal campaign, nobody's ever come back from as far behind as Trump is now. This is not a normal campaign. And to have his own party bailing out, I think that the Nixon final days are the only comparison that come to my mind.
ZAKARIA: Kathleen, what is it that changes people's minds? You've looked at so many polls. I'm struck by, we should take this for what it is. There is one poll out since this video revelations (inaudible) and Trump hasn't dropped very much; he is four points behind. As I say, this is one poll and it's not entirely clear to me that really was polled after all of the revelations. But what is your sense of what changes people's minds?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON, ANNENBERG PUBLIC POLICY CENTER DORECTOR: New evidence can change people's minds. I think what we're missing in this discussion is that when Donald Trump defended, he said that these words don't reflect who I am. The statement on the bus is not simply about his words. These are statements about things he reports having done. And the tapes that came out this weekend from Howard Stern show also put into words things that he says he has done, walking into dressing rooms of contestants before the Miss Universe pageant, for example.
So to the extent that people up to this point have heard these words that said problematic, re-aired constantly in Hillary Clinton ads, they've characterized this as language and the Trump campaign has said, well, distant past or I was an entertainer, different person. This haven't been words about what he says he has done. That potential new evidence is highly consequential because the way it's framed in media. Look at the words that are being used even by Republicans, sexual
assault. Those are descriptions of what he said he had done. Words like predator and predatory are being used. Those weren't being used before. That's new evidence. New evidence can change frames. New frames can change attitudes.
ZAKARIA: Everyone, stay right there. When we come back, we will dig deeper into tonight's debate and what history should teach Trump and Clinton about what to do and not to do on stage tonight. Don't forget, it's at 9:00 P.M. Eastern on CNN. We will back.
[10:16:35] ZAKARIA: And we are back with Jon Meacham, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and James Fallows, talking about the dos and don'ts of the presidential debate with history as a guide.
Jim, I wanted to ask you, when you were chief speechwriter to Jimmy Carter, you once described that job as sort of like being FDR's tap dance instructor. Carter was not a man who enjoyed or took much direction in terms of public speaking. Donald Trump faces a huge challenge tonight. And he's not a man who takes much instruction.
So watching the debates, and I know you watched them very carefully of this terrific cover story in the Atlantic. Watching the debates, what are Trump's weaknesses, watching the primary debates and, of course, the first presidential debate?
FALLOWS: I think his main weakness is that there is a style he has, which works very well in some circumstances and quite poorly in others. His style is essentially domination, bombast and simplicity of message which during the primary debates worked fine because there are a lot of people on stage, they're all competing for airtime and Trump could just sort of step in whenever he wanted as if it were a reality show or a wrestling match, you know, makes fun of the other people, there is Little Marco or whatever else.
So that worked very well in the primary campaign. It's not as good even in normal general election debates because there's only two people on stage. It's much harder to get away with being domineering against a female opponent and also Trump has been the history of sort of shrinking from female opponents in live exchanges. Also, he doesn't really know enough substance.
But, what's going to happen tonight is unprecedented in our public rhetorical experience because nobody has ever come into a debate with this preceding 48 hours of news as Donald Trump has. So I will just say one other thing, the main comparison I can think of is when Bill Clinton, after his huge, mid-term lost in 1994 and then after his impeachment, other problems, had to give State of the Union speeches. I mean, actually, those were quite dramatic and he was able to sort of recover himself with his bearing.
Bill Clinton was quite as we recall a gifted performer. Trump seems to have this one speed. So we will see how he applies that one speed tonight. And I think that's why it may be the largest audience ever for a debate.
ZAKARIA: Jon, the format is of course a town hall and Trump hasn't done these so much. A part of what you're trying to do here is connect and have empathy. And there was this moment in the Bush- Clinton-Ross Perot debate, 1992, where George Bush, Sr., President Bush, really fumbled and Clinton was able to connect. What went wrong and what went right for Bush and Clinton?
MEACHAM: Well, that was in Richmond in 1992. And President Bush had not done many of these. Presidents always, as Jim and Kathleen know, debates for incumbents are always tricky things because no one really spoken to them this way since they took the oath. No one has really questioned them very much.
But what happened in Richmond was a question or asked the president about how the national debt had personally affected him. President Bush took that literally, meaning, the national debt as supposed to the economic recession. And then actually said as he was trying to answer it, maybe I just don't get it.
[10:20:04] And Clinton aides are reported to have started high-fiving each other in the control room because they realized that they had that moment where Bush had inadvertently crystallized what was the popular narrative. And if you watch the tape, you will see Bill Clinton with almost a wolfish look on his face, sitting, waiting to come in and have a kind of Oprah moment.
President Bush sits down, Clinton comes in and says, I bet you know people who have been affected in my state. If someone loses their job, there's a good chance I know them. And in this way, the 20th century ended that night. Because you had this World War II figure, a man who did in fact -- George H.W. Bush is quite emotionally tactile man. He just has a very hard time in public showing that. Bill Clinton understood that our current generation needed that kind of confessional politics.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating. You know, we're going to stick with all of this and come back. And when we come back, I want to start with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, we haven't got you. Jon Meacham, Jim Fallows, what should Hillary do if Donald Trump brings up Bill Clinton's past. Stay with us.
[10:25:14] ZAKARIA: And we are back with Jon Meacham, Kathleen Hall Jamieson and James Fallows. Kathleen, before we get to Bill and Hillary Clinton, I want to ask you about Trump again because one of the things that struck many people was that during the primary debates, the one person Trump was not able to debate effectively was Carly Fiorina.
You remember, there was this moment where he insults her. He had previously insulted her because of her looks and she stands up and says this is what a woman of this age looks like, deal with it. And he really can't deal with it. And to a certain extent, in the first debate, there seemed to be that same problem. Jim was alluding to his style is domination and it looks bad. And now he has this revelations, as I say, really powerfully confirming the degree to which he objectifies women in their sex roles. How difficult, how big of a burden is it, just that gender dynamic for him in your view?
JAMIESON: The thing that Carly Fiorina said that was most effective was the women of America know what they heard Donald Trump say. In essence, letting women bring their own lived experience to their understanding of the interaction between Trump and Carly Fiorina, about Carly Fiorina's appearance. That's part of what's going to be at play tonight. And to the extent that Donald Trump interrupts as he did in the first debate, it's going to be interpreted through a different set of understandings in light of the most recent controversies.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating. OK. So Jim, you're doing debate prep with Hillary Clinton and they say Trump has now signaled three or four times that he intends to bring up Bill Clinton's infidelities and Hillary's role in covering them up. If he does, what should Hillary Clinton do?
FALLOWS: So I think the dynamics have changed in the past 48 hours and I think she has a strategic goal and a tactic one. The strategic goal for this entire debate for Hillary Clinton is just to show people that she is the adult in charge. She is the one who is responsible. She is the one they can feel comfortable with in contrast to what they've learned about Donald Trump in the last couple of days or have confirmed. So she needs to mainly be above the fray and deflect these things.
Tactically, what that means, if he brings up Bill Clinton, she can very economically say, look, we're talking about something involving my husband 20-plus years ago that the entire government of the United States litigated and was tied up in over years and people can make their own decisions about it. We're here to talk about the future of the country.
I think the more economically she can address it and say that it is, in the past, it's her husband. She's been married through all these years, it's been sort of tried in the court of both the congress and public opinion and then say, the real point for America is X, Y and Z. That's my guess.
ZAKARIA: Jon, it does sound like from what Jim is saying that, you know, the most important thing is style rather than substance, that is, come across as presidential. I remember that moment in the Reagan-Carter debates. The people forget this Carter brought up an entirely factually correct point which was that Reagan had historically been against Social Security and wanted to cut it. And Reagan just said, there he goes again. And that charming sort of demeanor -- the substance of what Carter was saying which today nobody even remembers.
MEACHAM: Right. And I actually think that style and substance, we sometimes treat, is two separate dichotomies when there is a connection. What Secretary Clinton has to do tonight is stylistically present herself as temperamentally and intellectually fit for the presidency. She is in fact temperamentally and intellectually fit for the presidency and there are real concerns that Donald Trump is not.
And so, in that sense, style and substance are connected. If I were talking to Secretary Clinton right now, I would simply, you know, cite the Napoleonic adage, never get in the way of an opponent who's busy destroying themselves. You know, I would come on the stage defer the time, defer the balance of my time and let him keep talking. Because the more he talks, the deeper the hole it gets.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you very quickly, Kathleen. If you had some advice for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, like, what is the goal here for tonight's debate?
JAMIESON: Donald Trump, show you're knowledgeable enough in command the detail necessary to be president of the United States. Demonstrate a temperament that shows restraint and treat Hillary Clinton with respect. Hillary Clinton, this is about the future, not about the past. The waiting that people place on issues matter.
[10:30:00] Donald Trump is going to argue supreme court, taxes, ISIS and change. Establish, Hillary Clinton, that you are change, that people in Barack Obama's words can believe in that you share their values and the future would be better than the past.
ZAKARIA: Jon, just one final thought, we've got about 30 seconds to go. Sorry, I think we've lost Jon there.
Jim, we've got 30 seconds to go. Is the election over? I mean, a lot of political scientists would say, at this point, nothing matters, it's all baked -- you know, it's all baked in.
FALLOWS: So nothing is certain in politics or this year in particular but it would require things even more unusual than what we've seen in the past year for Donald Trump to recover at this point when he has significant numbers of his own party leaders saying they are not going to vote for him. The last time we would have seen this would have been -- with the (INAUDIBLE) rebellion back more than a century ago, so you would have to bet money against his prospects right now.
ZAKARIA: Jim Fallows, Kathleen Hall Jameson and Jon Meacham in absentia, a fascinating conversation. Thank you all.
FALLOWS: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Don't forget, tonight's presidential debate, the second of three. This time moderated by our own Anderson Cooper is right here on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and 6:00 p.m. Pacific. Do not miss it.
Next on GPS, IBM's Watson won "Jeopardy" but now it's moved on to much bigger things, like helping make sure cancer patients get better and maybe helping you do your job better. Is it a hopeful future or a frightening one? I'll ask the CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty when we come back.
[10:35:49] ZAKARIA: In a moment, I'm going to introduce you to a multi-talented brilliance. What if I told you there is a person who has read just about every medical text book and journal out there and uses that knowledge to diagnose medical mysteries but has also collaborated as a fashion signer on a dress that was worn by a supermodel at the MET gala, has helped produce the movie trailer from major feature film? By the way, he's also a published cook book author, has a budding career as a weather forecaster, and did I mention won a huge tournament on "Jeopardy" even beating Ken Jennings?
That last part might have been the giveaway. I am not actually talking about a person, but a machine. Meet Watson, IBM's tech platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning in extraordinary ways. That list of Watson's accomplishments actually scares many who worry that computers are now powerful enough to do almost any human job.
I went down to IBM's Watson center in downtown Manhattan to talk about it all with IBM's chairman, president and CEO, Ginni Rometty, who is also a multi-talented brilliance.
IBM is of course one of the world's largest companies with a market cap over $140 billion.
ZAKARIA: Welcome, Ginni Rometty.
GINNI ROMETTY, PRESIDENT, IBM: Thank you, Fareed. Nice to be here with you again.
ZAKARIA: Explain to us the road to Watson. How did we get here? What is happening in technology that led to this?
ROMETTY: This is -- this is a great question. And it speaks a lot to what I think everyone is experiencing around the world either personally or in a business. You know, there have been three big technology trends, I think, shaping are lives. One, cloud, mobility, and then all this explosion of data around us. You have this explosion of information. It is impossible to understand it and this was the road to Watson.
We saw this long ago. That there would be all this data but for it to really bring any value to business or to the world, to solve these unsolvable problems, you were going to need a whole new way of computing of systems that could take that and make some sense out of it.
You know, if you just think about -- you go back 20 years in retail, if you are online buying something, you are a typical retailer, not typical, a big one, you might have had half a million things you could look at. Today, 20 million to 25 million. So you as a buyer, how could you even discern what is the right thing to do? And that's just one small example. So this is what has led us to Watson. This idea that this explosion of information and that once you become digital you're going to need some way -- data is going to differentiate companies then. And how do you make sense of it? That led us to this world which was
Watson, which is basically think of it as the ability for systems to learn.
ZAKARIA: How is Watson different from your average computer?
ROMETTY: You know, this is -- it is very different and I want you to not think of it as a computer. Think of Watson in this new world of cognitive, think of it as it's in the cloud so therefore it's applicable to everyone, and think of it as being imbedded in everything that you could do. So it'll impact your daily life, it will impact your business. And so when you think of it that way, as a -- think of it as a service that could be imbedded, it will touch billions of things. Billions of people and billions of things that they do. Basically to help you make a better decision. Whether that's personally or whether that's professionally.
ZAKARIA: So let's take medical, because Watson does a lot of medical work.
ZAKARIA: Explain to us why Watson is a better doctor than most doctors.
ROMETTY: Actually I wouldn't say it that way. What I really envision, and this is an important point about cognitive, its goal is not to replace anyone. In fact, it's really been our goal. It's been about not artificial intelligence, it's about augmenting intelligence and helping people make better decisions. And that's, in fact, what we are doing.
And so, you know, I mentioned we do work and I see this era doing work for both which you would call everyday decisions as well as what I would call solving the unsolvable and you mentioned health care.
ZAKARIA: But let's take a diagnosis. So --
ROMETTY: Yes. So here is how it would go with the diagnosis. So cancer, the cancer, oncology adviser is rolling out, been developed, and Watson has been taught by some of the best institutions in the world.
[10:40:02] Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer here in New York, but as well worked we've done on Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, clinics abroad, systems abroad. So what a doctor would do to assist, Watson would have been able and has read all the literature on cancer, all the journals, all the texts, your EMR, your medical record, which could be hundreds of pages long, your tests, and what it's going to do when I said it can understand and reason, just like you and I, formed hypothesis, checks against all the data, knows what percent of confidence, and then shows the doctor these are the different kinds of ideas around what diagnosis is and the appropriate treatment.
ZAKARIA: But the key difference is, correct me if I'm wrong.
ZAKARIA: You showed this to me once. A doctor can hold maybe a couple of hundred articles in his or her head.
ROMETTY: In -- that's right.
ZAKARIA: And Watson is looking at two million articles.
ROMETTY: We're -- well over millions and millions now.
ZAKARIA: But let's be honest, presumably with access to millions of articles and that much data, Watson must make better diagnosis than an average doctor.
ROMETTY: It's going to help an average doctor, absolutely. And that is really the point because you won't necessarily be able to see a world class oncologist but your oncologist or your general doctors is going to have that access to help them do their job. And then they actually can do what we want our doctors to do. They spend time with you in understanding you. I mean, an average doctor visit, as you know, can be a very small period of time. And so that's why I say this is really a world where it is going to augment what professionals do and what each of us do.
ZAKARIA: Now in the movie business, the art of making the trailer is seen as a very soft scale. It is something you have to do -- appreciating what an audience will like, how it will evoke certain emotions so a successful movie trailer is often then seen as a very fine art skill that an editor puts together and yet Watson was able to do this thing that the human does in -- it would take months apparently to cut a movie trailer and Watson sort of did it in a day. Explain how.
ROMETTY: Well, actually Watson helped the film editor to do this in a day, something it would have taken him weeks to do and this has been an element, one path that we have worked on which is creativity. And so, in fact, what Watson is doing is watching different movies and watching then how people respond, and what is it they're responding to, and then looking for, in this movie, what are the elements that would duplicate that. And then giving that input to the person putting together the trailer to have them then put together the most popular trailer that's going to get, and illicit the right audience behavior from that.
So it is very much that idea of these systems can learn and they're learning by observation, reaction, knowing how people's brains work, how their emotions react, and puts all that together.
ZAKARIA: So what it suggests is that all these things that we think of as creativity can --
ROMETTY: Can be assisted.
ZAKARIA: But can also be broken down, digitized and coded so that a computer can understand it?
ROMETTY: In many ways they can be. And that's I know people think of things like smell and taste. But actually -- or even the way you react when maybe you smell something that you remember from your childhood, it brings back, these are all chemical -- can be broken down into chemical equations and in fact by doing that then, you can come up with better recommendations.
And we're working with Campbell's Soup about, you know, how to prepare the right recipe and remind you of when you were young, that kind of thing and they can be broken into equations and digitized.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, when Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking all agree on something, I certainly listen, and the three of them concur that while there are many huge upsides to artificial intelligence, there could be a huge downside, too.
Could artificial intelligence wipe us all out? I will ask Watson's owner IBM chief Ginni Rometty when we come back.
Also, does she think women in high places face special challenges?
[10:48:24] ZAKARIA: Stephen Hawking wrote in a 2014 op-ed that the potential benefits of artificial intelligence are huge, that success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history, but then he went on, "Unfortunately it might also be last event."
Hawking and Bill Gates and Elon Musk and many other big thinkers warn we ought to be spending more time and money on the risks of AI, not just speeding it along. I discussed that with IBM chief Ginni Rometty. Listen in.
ZAKARIA: Bill Gates, Elon Musk, people -- Stephen Hawking have talked about the dangers of artificial intelligence, that the machines are getting too smart, and that we will lose control over them. Do you worry about that with Watson?
ROMETTY: You know, Fareed, I don't actually -- I don't really prescribe to that train of thought. And that if I see -- part of it has to do with what your goal is for this. As I said, I wouldn't even call it artificial intelligence alone. Artificial intelligence has been around for many decades. It's one element to what we're doing. What this is about is much more than that and the goal is different. The goal is to help you make better decisions and I believe in some number of years in front of us, every important decision you make you will be aided by this sort of technology.
Every important decision will be aided by it because you're going to have this cognitive overload and those benefits will far, far outstrip and outweigh some of what will be some impact. And so I think the world we envision is this world that is assisted by this and it allows you to do things that you do best, that humans do best.
[10:50:04] So it is a world of man and machine. It is not man versus machine.
ZAKARIA: But will we always be in charge? Will we always be able to turn the machine off?
ROMETTY: I think you and I will always be in charge for the foreseeable future. We do believe that. And in fact, you know, people talk about jobs and they'll talk about this technology and say what about the impact on jobs? You and I have talked about progress and transformations of companies over years and of economies. You go back in time, I mean, technology has always had this impact where certain jobs will be impacted, but then a whole another class of new jobs will be created.
And if you go back in time, whether it was when people started to not farm, where there was more machinery, it put a premium on reading. If you go on to the industrial age, it put a premium on mechanical skills and you had this big flourishing of community colleges and vocational schools.
Whatever we're going to end up calling this era in retrospect, it will have put a premium now on all of us the next era of education which is going to put a premium on math, science, getting whether it's even at the low end of skills, mid-skills, up on those reading and math skills, no matter what the country is around the world. So it will then open up for that a whole new set of jobs and careers for people to go into. But there is a transition.
ZAKARIA: I have to ask you, given the election season and given who's running and all that, you are the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world. And you're one of among a handful of women in that position. Do you think that even at this high level there are different standards for women that you still have to deal with, that are kind of a double standard?
ROMETTY: You know, I don't think of it that way at all, actually, and it's been true actually in my whole career but -- and particularly as I took on this role. I mean, on one hand it is important for me to recognize differences in being a role model. I think each one of us is a role model to some constituent and you do have to internalize that. On the other hand, what I focus the most on and standardize that myself to is being the steward of a company, arguably one of the greatest companies on this planet, and to steward it, make the right decisions for the long term and that's what I need to be a role model about.
I need to be a role model about doing the very best thing and being the very best CEO I can be and that IBM has lived 105 years and that it will live another 100 years.
ZAKARIA: Do you think it breaks a barrier to have a woman as president of the United States?
ROMETTY: I think we all want the best person to be president of the United States and I think it will set a great role model and there are other great role models all around the world who are women that run countries and states.
ZAKARIA: Ginni Rometty, a pleasure to have you on.
ROMETTY: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, the important lesson Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi might have learned from the former British prime minister, David Cameron. What was it? I will tell you when we come back.
[10:57:02] ZAKARIA: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will pass the baton to a new leader in 2017. Ban is the eighth secretary-general. Those eight leaders of the U.N. have so far hailed from four continents which brings me to my question.
Three continents have yet to be the birthplace of a secretary-general of the United Nations They are Australia, Antarctica and -- is it Europe, South America, North America or Africa?
Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's "Book of the Week" is actually a magazine. Not a book. In the 24/7 coverage of Trump, I have really enjoyed stepping back and reading the "New Yorker" which is on a roll. Look at this week's cover, a brilliant sly take on the Alicia Machado controversy. In the last two issues, there have been first rate essays on Obama's opening to Cuba, Germany's new far-right leader, West Virginia's Trump country and Juneau, the new rival to Uber. And that's just in the last two weeks.
A great magazine like the "New Yorker" is one of the world's best bargains. Go online and read of it but then take out a subscription. Better yet buy a copy of the magazine.
And now for the "Last Look." Last week we reported that Colombians were likely to approve a peace deal between the government and the guerilla group known as FARC but citizens of that country surprised the world last Sunday when they voted not to accept the deal. That same day, as pointed out, Hungarian voters headed to the polls and rejected the European Union's quota for re-settling refugees, though that referendum result is not binding.
And then there was the big British shocker earlier this year, citizens there voted to exit the European Union. Again upsetting posters, prediction markets, and of course David Cameron. Perhaps Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has learned a thing or two watching the trend this year. He repeatedly promised to resign if a referendum to reform Italy's constitution failed but Reuters reports that he has recently backed down from that pledge.
The lesson here seems to be clear. In today's climate if you give people a chance to register a protest with their votes, they will.
The correct answer to the GPS challenge question is C, North America. There have been no secretaries-general from North America, Australia or Antarctica. The eight secretaries-general so far have all hailed from Europe, Asia, Africa or South America, and they have all been men. While there were women in the running to be ninth secretary- general, the top three candidates in the Security Council vote were all men and the Council eventually chose former Portuguese prime minister and U.N. high commissioner for refugees, Antonio Gutierrez for the job this week.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.