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Interview with U.S. Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jared Bernstein; Interview with Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii Sylvia Luke; Interview with Former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Kathleen Stephens; Interview with Eurasia Group Founder and President Ian Bremmer; Interview with Inflection AI CEO and Co-Founder Mustafa Suleyman. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired August 16, 2023 - 13:00:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here is what is coming up.


Joe Biden, U.S. PRESIDENT: We've added more jobs in two years than any president has in American has in a four-year term.


GOLODRYGA: One year since President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, how has it transformed the American economy? I discuss with

top White House economic adviser, Jared Bernstein.

Then --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a four -- it's too nice (ph). This was -- you couldn't see through here ever for hundreds of years. This was a huge

forest, and this is what is left.


GOLODRYGA: The death toll keeps climbing after Hawaii's catastrophic wildfires. We get the latest from the state's lieutenant governor, Sylvia


And as Japanese and South Korean leaders head to Camp David, can President Biden helped cool historic tensions and strengthen an alliance on China's

doorstep. I ask Kathleen Stephens, the former U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

Also, ahead --


If you don't create the mechanisms to engage with each other around the dangers of these technologies, then we're going to end up destroying each



GOLODRYGA: -- the A.I. power paradox, Walter Isaacson talks to Eurasia Group president, Ian Bremmer, and leading A.I. researcher, Mustafa

Suleyman, as they make an urgent call for action.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

U.S. President Joe Biden is taking a victory lap as his Inflation Reduction Act celebrates its first year. Going on the road and touting the impact of

Bidenomics, the White House pushing out achievements like 170,000 new jobs and clean energy and 110 billion dollars' worth of investment in green


But there's also been some criticism for some of his signature policy. Some pointing out the growing cost estimates of the bill and there's a

frustration that easing inflation and strong job numbers aren't translating into just a strong poll numbers. President Biden's approval rating hovering

around 41 percent.

Joining me now on all of this is Jared Bernstein, the chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers. He also served as chief economist and

economic adviser to then-Vice President Biden during the Obama administration. Jared Bernstein, always great to see. Welcome to the


So, listen, a busy year, a busy week. And now, a day to mark the signature legislation together with the infrastructure bill and the Chips and Science

Act. The administration clearly has been pumping billions of dollars into the system, into the economy. And for now, the net result seems to be

promising. Inflation is down from 9 percent to 3.2 percent. The unemployment rate is at 3.5 percent. GDP is growing, it looks like a

recession perhaps is averted. Home building data today just showed increasing figures. Is this a victory laps of sorts and is there more

achievement to come in terms of your perspective?

JARED BERNSTEIN, CHAIR, U.S. COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: Well, as you well know, most one-year-olds can barely walk but this one-year-old, the

Inflation Reduction Act, is up and running in much of the way as you just described.

One of the things that I've been most impressed with is the reaction of private investment. There was some really untapped energy there to come in

and stand-up domestic industries in this country in the area of semiconductors and of course clean energy, a main focus of the IRA. We've

seen our manufacturing capacity in terms of facilities double over the past year, and that was flatlining before we got here and before the IRA come in

through effect.

Hundreds of billions of dollars, over $500 billion coming in from the sidelines to help support this work. So important in terms of reversing

decades of disinvestment in America in good jobs, in health care savings and of course, in the most serious and I think pretentious actions against

climate change we've seen. So, as your introduction suggested, very much on track.

GOLODRYGA: So, you have people like yourself out giving interviews, touting the achievements, the president is speaking today, the treasury

secretary on Monday also talking about the strength of the economy thanks to acts like the Inflation Reduction Act and other measures taken by this

administration. Listen to what she said?



JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: Today, overall inflation and the unemployment rate both sit below 4 percent, and our economy continues to

expand. And workers are better off than they were last year. Real efforts hourly earnings have grown over the past year, that means wage gains are

outpacing inflation.


GOLODRYGA: But there is a but here and you know that's coming, Jared. As I mentioned, the president's approval rating for the economy overall, 37

percent, 51 percent of Americans say the economy is getting worse. Given everything that we opened this segment with, how do you justify these

numbers and what does the administration doing wrong not to see a better outlook from the American public overall?

BERNSTEIN: Well, first of all, let's talk about a few numbers that are associated with some things you just Heard Secretary Yellen talk about. So,

job satisfaction is at 36-year high. That's from a series that begins in 1987, so the highest on record. If we look at consumer sentiment, if we

look at consumer confidence, they're actually up two-year or close to two- year highs. Certainly, as you've mentioned, inflation has come down.

But look, the American people have been through a ton and we also know that there's a whole lot of political partisanship out there. What we're trying

to do is keep our heads down, explain to folks the kinds of progress we have made. I don't think that we have ever seen such an increase in

manufacturing capacity, the facilities that I've mentioned earlier are doubling relative to the prior administration. I can't remember an act like

the IRA, or for that matter Chips and Science or the Infrastructure Act, this quickly getting into the system, and that's because one of the things

that President Biden values more than I think most people at that -- at such a high office is implementation.

It's not enough to sign the legislation, you have to get it out there in ways that people can tangibly see and feel. And we are just now starting to

see the kinds of savings that I think will register in people's consciousness and begin to change some of those numbers. And in fact, as I

just suggested, some of that change is underway. I mean, we had a situation in Florida where there's savings to millions of homes from solar tax

credits. We have a situation in Detroit, same thing with renewable energy. These are tangible on the ground achievements that I think are starting to

register in the public's mind.

GOLODRYGA: Well, past is prologue. And listen, I think you are right in noting partisanship. But historically, we know that voters vote with their

pocketbooks. Do you think everything you've just outlined, including this administration's change approach to really embracing this president's

agenda by labeling it Bidenomics the last few weeks, do you think all of that can change American's perspective in the next year before the


BERNSTEIN: Well, yes. And to some extent, that's a political question and I'm an economic adviser. What I think we have behind us -- and here's where

economics and politics I think often come together, is just a really solid record of implementing important policies targeted in uplifting the middle

class. We have an unemployment rate that's been below 4 percent for a year and a half, over 13 million jobs. And something Secretary Yellen said is

going to become increasingly important, that's rising real wage gains. So, all of that is baked in the cake.

And look, Bidenomics is building the economy from the middle out and the bottom up and its stands in direct contrast to trickle down this

investment. I began my comments to you talking about how this Inflation Reduction Act reverses decades of just truly intense disinvestment in this

country under the assumption that if you just give rich people more money, somehow that's magically going to work out for the middle class.

Empirically, we know that's false.

The kinds of measures we've been talking about today are directly helping the middle class, both through rising real wages through a very

persistently solid job market and now, through investments in key sectors in manufacturing, in chips and in clean energy.

GOLODRYGA: Well, as you know, it's hard to separate, especially in the current environment, politics from the economy, and I raise this because

just this month, the trading's downgraded the U.S. credit rating and it's said, yes, the nation's debt is growing and that's what it is concerned

about, but it's mainly because of the partisan standoff that we witness in terms of the debt ceiling debacle.

The current spending runs out of the U.S. government September, there are concerns that we could see another government shutdown. Do you think that

that will happen? How worried are you about that and then, perhaps, yet another rating agency coming out and following what Fitch did?


BERNSTEIN: Well, let's start with the Fitch action. I mean, I think one of the ironic things about that is, as you just said, there was criticism of

the debt ceiling debate, which, look, we argued from the beginning shouldn't have happened. Republicans who resisted raising the debt ceiling

did so three times without blinking an eye under President Trump.

But under this president's leadership, an overwhelmingly bipartisan deal was achieved. It's a deal that reduce the deficit by a trillion over 10

years. The president has 2.5 trillion of deficit reduction in his budget. So, we've very much aware of the fiscal challenges we face and we're doing

all that we can to try to improve them. And I think this president has shown, even in the debt ceiling debate, that he has been able to make some

of those achievements even on a bipartisan basis.

I think one of the ironic things about that downgrade is you actually look at Fitch's own metrics of credit worthiness, they tanked under President

Trump, they've been increasing under President Biden. So, I don't think that made a whole lot of sense.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. These rating agencies have been criticized the past for seemingly reacting and acting post factor, right, and not ahead of any

precipitating crisis. I want to get you to respond to something the president said at a fund-raiser recently, and this is what he said about

the Inflation Reduction Act specifically, I wish I hadn't called if that, because it has less to do with the reducing inflation than it has to do

with providing alternatives that generate economic growth. Why the did he say that?

BERNSTEIN: Well, I don't know what the context was there. And I can tell you though that, as you mentioned in the introduction to the segment,

inflation has come down from over 9 percent last June, June of '22, to 3.2 percent last seen.

And the amazing thing about that, as inflation has come down by almost 6 percentage points there, the unemployment rate has basically not budged. It

was 3.6 percent in June of '22, it is 3.5 percent. So, just about the same, that historically wrote low rate in July of '23. It is very unusual in

economics, as you well know, to have that much inflation reduction without having to give up a bunch of percentage points on the unemployment rate.


BLACKWELL: Now, President Biden has consistently said that that's possible. And I think thus far, he has shown that to be the case. Now, when

it comes to the IRA, there are definitely inflation reduction elements of the IRA, but there is also a very deep investment and climate agenda. So,

perhaps he was referring to the broad scope of the measure.

GOLODRYGA: Well, we know the president will be visiting Maui on Monday, the White House announced today, to visit the just tragic outcome following

the fires there and the loss of life. The search and rescue continue. The Inflation Reduction Act, as you noted, provided almost $400 billion for

climate change, mitigation and green energy.

But given what we've seen in Maui and really, not just in the United States, around the world, in terms of climate change and fires, rains,

drought, what have you, is this just a drop in the bucket at this point?

BERNSTEIN: No, it's the most ambitious action against environmental degradation that this country has ever taken. And in fact, there are

estimates out there that we are on track to hit some of our climate goals and particularly to significantly increase the use of electricity fueled by

renewable power. And one of the things we're trying to highlight today is ways in which that not only occurs but helps families bottom line.

So, for example, a $7,500 tax credit when it comes to purchasing electric vehicles. Also, of course, tax credits to not only support manufacturing in

ways that will produce clean energy products but also for individuals who are interested, for example, solar panel.

And I think I mentioned the case earlier of Florida where 1.5 million consumers are going to benefit to the tune of about $400 million from those

actions. So, that's in play, that's in the system. But by the way, when it comes to Maui, direct on the ground interventions by this administration.

This is -- yes, there's very much a medium and long-term play when it comes to the environment when it comes to what is going on in Hawaii and Maui in

particular, that's something that Biden and Harris administration is aggressively intervening in.

You can go to, a fact sheet went up today on all of the actions that are taken. There are 500 federal officials on the ground

helping there. So, that's a very near-term action, of course.

BERNSTEIN: Yes. Just tragic. And the reason I raised this, I mean, just $6 billion alone estimates now for rebuilding Lahaina alone. And so, not to

downplay the significance and historic nature of the $400 billion allotted for climate change, mitigation and the Inflation Reduction Act. But as you

know, we are seeing scenes like this around the world, almost on a weekly basis now. Jared Bernstein, great to see you as always.


BERNSTEIN: Whole of government approach.


BERNSTEIN: Great to see you as well. Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Thanks to much. Well, as we said, President Biden will head to Hawaii to meet with local officials and survivors after what has been

described as an apocalyptic wildfire. At least 106 people have been killed. And with many more still missing, that number is expected to raise.

FEMA disaster teams have arrived and genetic testing experts will help identity the victims. But Hawaii's governor is warning that the process

could take weeks, as search and rescue workers sift through the ashes. The question for many is, how could this have happened?

Joining me now on this is Hawaii's lieutenant governor, Sylvia Luke. Lieutenant Governor Luke, thank you and welcome to the program. I know you

don't have time to ask how could this have happened because you were on the ground there and responding to this crisis in real-time. But where do

things stand as of now? Over 100 people have been confirmed dead, over a thousand still missing. And I believe the governor said just of yesterday,

27 percent in terms of the search has been completed. Where do things stand now?

SYLVIA LUKE, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF HAWAII: You know, before I start, I just wanted to thank you, Biana, thank the world for the concern and the

love and outpouring support.

You know, this -- the past week, a little over a week, it has been devastating. We -- this is just unbelievable, it has shaken our state,

shaken the community of Maui.

We have been getting so many calls and so many responses, not just from around the state and not just from around the nation, but from the world.

This is something that is so tragic and devastating for our community. And as you mentioned, Bianna, we have -- there has been about 100, a little

over 100 people confirmed deceased, there are still hundreds of people missing. The search rescue team, it's been slow progress because they're

taking a methodical approach and we want to be respectful to the family and the community, but it has been very difficult, and it's been a trying


GOLODRYGA: I know you're currently seeking DNA samples, those whose loved ones are still missing right now, it is just horrifying. The scenes of the

ground and knowing that this will be continuing for days to come. How contained are the fires as of today?

LUKE: It is mostly contained. You know, even as of a couple of days ago there has been a brush fires, that it has been igniting. But I think,

Bianna, just as you recognized, this is something that has been happening, not just in Hawaii, but around the nation and around the world, as we deal

with climate change, drier conditions. You know, officials need to take closer attention and pay attention to some of the drier conditions and

what's going on.

Look at the fire conditions and brush fires just in the last -- within the last decade, we had significant amounts of brush fires on the West Coast,

and this is something that the nation has to take closer attention to.

GOLODRYGA: And we know that this was likely the cause of climate change, but in terms of anything that could have been done to mitigate the disaster

that we're seeing now and the number of lives lost, there are legitimate questions being asked, for example, Hawaii's outdoor siren warning was not

activated. Why not?

LUKE: Yes, absolutely. There are so many questions, whether it was even the questions about electrified lines, power lines, why were the sirens not

working, why were the water systems not fully charged? These are the questions that will be tasked by our attorney general's office. That's why,

very quickly, the governor has initiated an investigation, because this is not something that just a few individuals are asking, this is something

that the entire state is asking, and the entire nation is asking.

So, we will learn from some of the issues and we hope to figure out, OK, what were some of the things that could've prevented this tragedy and what

steps can the state and the nation (INAUDIBLE) take for other situations as well?

GOLODRYGA: Are you investigating whether fallen utility lines could've been a possible cause to the fires?


LUKE: You know, that's -- that has been raised. The attorney general will take into consideration all issues, including that, including the response

by county state and federal agencies, including many of the issues that are being raised on basically a daily basis.

GOLODRYGA: As I've mentioned, the president will be arriving to tour the devastation there firsthand on Monday with the first lady. Over 500 federal

emergency personnel have been dispatched so far. FEMA has approved one-time payments of $700 for household, and that is to cover food, water, medical

supplies. From your estimation, is that enough money?

LUKE: You know, looking at the damage done to Lahaina, looking at the damage done to other parts of Maui, we are talking about several billion

dollars' worth of structural damage. That's structural damage alone. The damage done to families who lost lives, families who are still missing,

families who are displaced, businesses that have lost their business, you know, the amount -- just on the structural damage amount is not comparable

to the significant amount of impact to the entire community.

Let me just say that we are just so thankful to the support of the federal government. The president called our governor immediately, they spoke

several times. Vice President Harris did contact me directly. And we are just so thankful that the federal government understood the devastation and

reacted accordingly.

GOLODRYGA: First and foremost, it's the loss of human life and tragedy that is the primary focus. But obviously, this is a big hit to the economy

as well, and tourism is a huge factor and has a huge role in the economy, in the state there. The governor says he will not be shutting down travel

to the Hawaii due to these fires. Do you think that he should rethink that?

LUKE: You know, we are discouraging essential travel to West Maui. But I believe the other portions of Maui, it's still intact. And Hawaii, similar

to some of the other states, are heavily dependent on tourism. The rest of the state, they are open for business.

And some of these individuals who are traveling to Hawaii, they have saved up their entire life savings just to see a piece of paradise and we don't

want to discourage them from going to Kauai, going to Oahu, going to different parts of Maui. But in as much as you can, we are discouraging

travel to West Maui, because the traffic pattern is restricted, people are still missing, we are still in recovery mode, and we're still doing search

and rescue. And because of that, we are discouraging travel to West Maui section.

GOLODRYGA: I know there's been some criticism by local residents there that road closures have stopped people from entering Lahaina that want to

come and help and distribute supplies that are desperately in need. What is your response to that? Can anything be done to change it?

LUKE: Yes. You know, the county -- we are working very closely with the counties to manage the amount of donations. As you can imagine, the

outpouring amount of support has led to significant amounts of donation. And part of it is now we have boxes and containers full of clothing, but

what we have learned is that many of the Lahaina residents or displaced individuals have sufficient number clothing.

So, what we're trying to manage right now is trying to figure out what to do with the amount of donations, so we are managing putting it in storage,

stock -- we are labeling, sorting, and then figure out what is needed and have a distribution process that make sense.

In the first few days, the county and the state and the federal government, we struggled to get items out to individuals in need because of

connectivity issues, because of road closures, because people were not connected with the entire community, and then that is getting better.

I myself visited the shelter a few days ago, and the number in the shelters have decreased, because now, the governor has tried really hard to find

different placements, whether it's using hotel, empty hotel rooms or asking the short-term rentals to take in individuals. But many of them are with

families, many of them are with friends. Some of them have moved to Oahu. So, we are trying to do significant amounts of outreach to take care of

people who have been displaced.


GOLODRYGA: The before and after photos are just heartbreaking. And for those who are just hearing of Lahaina now following this fire, can you give

our viewers a sense of what this place means to the residents there to you? You've lived in Hawaii since you were nine years old, I believe. This is a

huge loss in terms of a cultural landmark and home for so many.

LUKE: Yes, absolutely. And I think that's why, you know, any place that is lost in the State of Hawaii is a tragedy, but especially in Lahaina town.

Lahaina town is where visitors and locals alike went to visit, and it was a treasure. It had such historical perspective, and it was right on the

coast, and it was the Whalers Village. And it had quaint shops, you know, it had a lot of local businesses, and this is -- this was the place to go

for many of the folks visiting our state.

In fact, this morning, the governor and I were exchanging texts, because we talk constantly, and he showed me a photo of when he and the first lady

went to visit Lahaina about 17 years ago. And he showed a picture of him walking in the ruins, and both of us, it broke our hearts because we know

how Lahaina looked two weeks ago and how it looks now.

GOLODRYGA: Well, we're showing images of Lahaina before and after. And you just -- words can't describe what we're seeing, and obviously what you're

feeling there on the ground, as a resident and as somebody there who is responsible for the well-being of all of those in the area affected by

these horrible fires. Lieutenant Governor Luke, thank you so much for your time. We will continue to be covering this story. And obviously, as we

heard from Jared Bernstein, the entire country is focused on providing the state with whatever aid is necessary. Thank you so much and best of luck to


LUKE: Thank you, Bianna. Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, now, turning to the war in Ukraine. We're learning more about an attack on Russia's bridge to Crimea last month, Ukraine's Security

Service is claiming responsibility. This is the first time it's openly done so. And now, new footage shows the moment an experimental sea drone

detonated under the bridge. Correspondent Nick Paton Walsh has this exclusive report.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): It's become the most beleaguered symbol of Russian

occupation. This weekend, Moscow saying this incident was just a smokescreen foiling a Ukrainian attack on the $4 billion Kerch bridge, the

link between Russia and occupied Crimea that Putin seems to dote on.

Now, CNN has obtained exclusive footage heralding a new way of warfare of another earlier devastating Ukrainian seaborne drone strike there in July

from the Ukrainian Security Services, the SBU, who say they did it and more will follow.

This is exactly what the drone pilot saw, thermal imagery, the water rippling as up to a ton of explosive approaches the bridge. The feed then

obviously went dead as it hit the concrete.

Russian officials said two civilians died in the attack. Cameras on the bridge captured the first blast on the road section. The cursor shows the

drone moving in, and another on the railway tracks at about the same time.

Ukraine has been coy. Some officials saying these huge blasts are from "unidentified floating object." But no longer. The head of the Ukrainian

Security Services told CNN this is just the start.

VASYL MALIUK, HEAD OF SBU (through translator): Sea surface drones are a unique invention of the Security Service of Ukraine. None of the private

companies are involved. Using these drones, we have recently conducted successful hits of the Crimean Bridge, a big assault ship, Olenegorsky

Gornyak, and SIG tanker.

WALSH (voiceover): This, another Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian amphibious assault boat, the Olenegorsky Gornyak, on which Ukrainian

officials said 100 personnel were on board. It was a remarkable feat carried out by a growing fleet of what they call the Sea Babies.

Hundreds of miles away from Ukrainian bases and right in Russia's coastal heartland, it put the Black Sea's east suddenly at risk.


MALIUK (through translator): These drones are produced in an underground production facility in Ukraine. We are working on a number of new,

interesting operations, including in the Black Sea waters. I promise you it will be exciting, especially for our enemies.

WALSH (voiceover): Ukraine's ingenuity again and again toppling the lumbering Russian Goliath.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Dnipro, Ukraine.


GOLODRYGA: And our thanks Nick for that report.

Well, this Friday, the U.S. is set to play host to the Japanese prime minister and South Korean president at Camp David. President Biden's first

summit at the storied country retreat is aimed at bringing the regional allies closer together, and sending a loud message to China and North


But Japan and South Korea have their own issues that could complicate things. Tensions that date back to the Japanese occupation of Korea during

the Second World War. Joining me now on what we can expect from the summit is Kathleen Stephens who served as U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

Ambassador, great to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.

So, first, I'd first like to get you to comment on the significance of this summit. It is the first that President Biden has brokered among other

foreign leaders here, clearly sending a message of significance to other countries, namely, I would say, China and North Korea.

KATHLEEN STEPHENS, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: Yes. So, I think it is significant. It, as you say, is the first time that President Biden

has been able to meet in a stand-alone summit, and of course, Camp David has its own symbolic importance, but a stand-alone summit with the prime

minister of Japan and the president of Korea.

And of course, he's met bilaterally with them a number of times since he became president. And I think now, I think, the Biden administration,

President Biden himself, sees this as some of the fruits of his labor of trying to revitalize, as he's put it again and again, key alliances and

partners. He's done that with Japan, he's done that with South Korea. Now, the next step is to bring, as you've already mentioned, two countries,

South Korea and Japan, who are both strong allies of the United States but have their own difficult history and are not allies with each other. They

certainly were together but have had a difficult history, that has now improved and I think he wants to solidify that improvement,

institutionalize it, and move it forward.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. Further his pursuit on a pivot towards Asia for sure. The three leaders are set to announce that their countries will hold joint

military exercises, develop a new crisis hotline, have tighter economic cooperation, and hope to make this summit an annual event.

Do you think that these expectations thus far are something that can last beyond just the Biden administration and the administration of these two

leaders? As we said, there is a rather complicated past, these two politically seemed to be more closer aligned. But there is concern of

potential backsliding in future administrations.

STEPHENS: Yes. I think there's worry. That's a good question, because I think there's concern about that on all sides. And therefore, again, what I

think they want to come out of on Friday is a sense of putting in some institutional building blocks that will allow it to have a little more

resilience going forward. It being the cooperation among the three countries. And in particular, that between South Korea and Japan.

But I think they're going to have to take it, if I may say, a little bit slowly. I don't think that the historical issues between Japan and South

Korea have entirely gone away. Both leaders, particularly in Korea, but both leaders are constrained by their own domestic political climate. And

of course, both of them are also looking at what's happening in the United States, and they worry about the return of administration that might not be

so enthusiastic about America's alliance commitment. So, all three of them have a reason to want to, as I say, try to kind of solidify it while at a

moment when there is a shared understanding of the threat.

Now, I mean, you mentioned China and Russia, you know, it's -- North Korea's belligerence has continued. There clearly are areas where these

countries have already, over the years, cooperated, but they've had their ups and downs, particularly between Japan and Korea. And now, it's a moment

to kind of institutionalize that, take it to another level, and hopefully have it continue, even though there will be political uncertainties, I

think it's fair to say in each country in the coming years.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. Of course, China is already saying that this is a prevocational move by the United States and South Korea and Japan.

Recently, Russia and China conducted naval exercises just near the Alaska and Alaskan waters there. Do you worry of what sort of response this could

trigger from China, namely?


STEPHENS: Well, I think, you know, China has never been very complimentary or enthusiastic about the United States' reliance on developing allies and

partnerships over the years. I remember years ago they called our alliance with Japan and with South Korea relics of the Cold War. And they tried to

kind of divide, if you like it and if not conquer, but divide and sow some discord between the United States and our respected partners and allies, in

Asia in particular.

But I think, say, right now, there's a shared sense -- different in every capital for sure, but a shared sense of some of the challenges that China

poses. And there's also, I guess you would say the irony, and I mean, that on the Chinese side, they've also looked to shore up their ties, as we

know, with Russia. You just has a piece on Ukraine I know, and with North Korea.

And in fact, just this last July, the Russian defense minister was in North Korea, in Pyongyang, and there was a high-level Chinese communist official

there as well. So, I think we are in an area where other people from the outside are saying, maybe there is a little bit of a move towards more bloc

diplomacy. But I think China will be critical of this meeting, I think they will watch in particular if something is said about Taiwan, that's --


STEPHENS: -- especially a tender area for them. But there's -- but I think it's also an issue they just have to deal with, that their own behavior has

brought Japan and Korea together to try to work with the United States on a sustainable policy towards China going forward.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. We can expect the topic of Ukraine to come up as well this week, and Japan's prime minister said at a summit in Singapore last June

said, "Ukraine today maybe the East Asia of tomorrow." Kathleen Stephens, we'll have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time today. We

appreciate it.

STEPHENS: My pleasure.

GOLODRYGA: Well, our next guest believe international cooperation is the key to managing artificial intelligence. Founder of the Eurasia Group, Ian

Bremmer, and CEO of Inflexion A.I., Mustafa Suleyman, have analyzed the A.I. power paradox for foreign affairs. To discuss why countries and

technology companies and need to unite, they joined Walter Isaacson.


WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Bianna. And Ian Bremmer and Mustafa Suleyman, welcome to the show.



ISAACSON: You all have this piece that just came out in foreign affairs, called "The A.I. Power Paradox." Let me start with you, Ian. Exactly what

does that title mean?

BREMMER: Well, it means that for my lifetime, when I thought about power around the world, I thought in terms of governments. And, you know, a year

ago, you talked to a head of state, you talk to the head of the U.N., or the IMG or any of those organizations, they weren't asking you about A.I.

Now, they all are, and it's a top priority. I've never seen that before.

And yet, the actors that actually martial control sovereignty over artificial intelligence are not governments. They're in the private sector.

They're technology companies. So, I mean, the most dramatic geopolitical change in my lifetime happens to be one that's being developed completely

outside of the governments that control -- (INAUDIBLE) have controlled power. And it's also the one piece that I've put together that I felt

completely incapable of doing myself, precisely because I'm a political scientist. I'm not a technologist. Mustafa is actually driving the stuff.

So, we really had to put our heads together here.

ISAACSON: Well, so, let me turn to Mustafa then about the technology. You've got a book coming out called "The Coming Wave" and it really

(INAUDIBLE) explains the technology in-depth about artificial intelligence. But tell us, what will it do to society, and how long will it take? Are we

talking about a dozen years from now? Are we talking about next year?

SULEYMAN: I think we're talking about in the next decade, everybody in the world getting access to an intelligent agent that is as good as the top

professor, the most kind and supportive coach or counselor, as good as the very best research assistant that you might want as a scientist in your

lab, helping you to synthesize information, provide you with summaries and reports.

Think of it as a turbo charger, an amplifier, to everything that we might do in the world. Having the very best chief of staff in your pocket.

Everybody is now going to get access to this new tool, just as, over the last 30 years, everybody in the developed world has got access to

smartphones. No matter how rich you are, you know, whether you're a billionaire or whether you earn 20,000 bucks a year, we all get the same

super high-quality smartphone, and that's an incredibly meritocratic moment, the top billion or so of us. We're on the same trajectory for

access to intelligence.

ISAACSON: Why should we be worried then?


SULEYMAN: I think just as it amplifies the good actors, just as it functions as a teacher and a support, and a motivator, and an educator,

people with bad intentions will also use it to help go about their goals, right? I mean, these are tools that are for sure going to be used to spread

misinformation, they're going to be used to drive greater wedges between us as societies to make us feel one another. They're for sure going to be used

to make cyberattacks easier.

I've seen experimental test use cases where people have been using large language models as coaches for the development of bioweapons. This means

that you don't need to have the same undergraduate level skills in biology to be able to synthesize a new dangerous compound, because you've got this

intelligent aid, a coach alongside you.

So, it reduces the barrier to entry to be able to cause chaos, and that's potentially extremely disruptive.

ISAACSON: So, Ian, your Eurasia Group and your consulting, you know, the writing you've done, has always been about how geopolitics works and it's

always been based on nation states, you know, how countries deal with one another. And in this piece, you all right that it can't be regulated, A.I.,

the way previous technologies have been regulated. I just watched "Oppenheimer." Why is it more difficult than the atom bomb? We regulated


BREMMER: Well, I mean, the atom bomb was very complex to get your hands on the material required, a lot of expertise, there were very different

components of it. Basically, only governments were really capable -- of actors, of getting a hold of nuclear weapons. And the Americans and the

Soviets, even though we hated each other, we're prepared to talk to each other because we recognize the terrible dangers of a nuclear Armageddon

would relay.

As you just heard from Mustafa, there are aspects of A.I. in the wrong hands that have, you know, sort of analogies to how we think of weapons of

mass destruction, except that the proliferation danger of A.I. lot is -- you know, it's logarithmically greater. You're talking about hundreds of

millions of people. You're talking about anybody with a smartphone or -- you know, or with a decent computer at their hands. And they're not just

state actors, they're obviously non-state actors.

So, governments are going to have to recognize that this is not only very fast moving and it's massively proliferated, but also that the governments

themselves are not in a position, they don't have the expertise to understand what these algorithms do, to the extent that anyone does, it's

the technology company. So, the governance itself is going to have to be a hybrid model of technology companies and governments together.

I mean, I don't know if that means as treaty signatories, but you certainly won't have governments that will be able to drive this regulatory

environment, these new institutions themselves. That will be a road to ruin.

ISAACSON: After World War II, after the dropping of the atom bomb, we created these great government structures like the United Nations or, you

know, the World Bank, many other things, NATO, that did it. Those are all governments at the table. Are you actually, Ian, envisioning sort of a new

type of United Nations organization that has both Google and Meta and Amazon as well as the U.S. and China and Russia, sitting at the same table?

BREMMER: So, we're envisioning a couple of things. One is something that looks like the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Walter, the one reason why we know all agree that there's 1.2 centigrade degrees of global warming, despite all of the fake news and disinformation,

is because you've had governments and scientists and corporate leaders and public policy types from every country in the world altogether trying to

understand where climate change is going.

So, we know how many particles of carbon are in the atmosphere, we know how much methane, we know the deforestation. That's a critical, critical aspect

of fighting climate change. And with A.I., so much more urgent and fast- moving, you will need an organization like that, a multistakeholder.

But another thing we're calling for is a techno credential approach, like you see in the global financial community. In other words, a geotechnology

stability board where you will have governments and non-state actors together being able to respond to crises in real-time as they occur. This

isn't like the United Nations.


This is more like how the world responded to the 2008 financial crisis, and where even though they were different governments, the United States and

China are both members of the IMF. They're both members of the bank of international settlements. You will be need A.I. institutions to be

similarly inclusive and similarly non-politicized to be able to respond to challenges that are fundamentally global.

ISAACSON: Well, Mustafa, you're talking about three layers of governance regimes that you need. And the first one is something to establish just

what the facts are. Tell me what you think needs to be established in terms of the facts of the technology?

SULEYMAN: So, an intergovernmental panel on A.I. would be one that has access to all of the largest commercial labs and academic labs all around

the world developing these large language models. They would be able to probe them and test them, audit them, look at what data they are, you know,

using to do training and try to find weaknesses and failure modes in the models.

Once they discover those, they should then be able to share those with other national or international commercial competitors in order to improve

the quality and performance of those models. But the first step is really just understanding and auditing and establishing the fact pattern of what

are the boundaries that these models can't cross today and what -- where are they headed in the future.

ISAACSON: And the second step, Ian, at least according to your piece, is to prevent an arms race. How do you do that?

BREMMER: Yes. You think it would be hard because the United States and China, we don't even have direct high-level military to military

conversations today. And yet, Walter, as you know and I know, during the Cold War, the Americans and the Soviets with much less in common with

virtually no interdependence between the two great countries nonetheless worked together to ensure that we understood what kind of nuclear

capabilities we were developing and we were putting limits on them.

And so, when I look -- when Mustafa and I look at how fast A.I. is being deployed and the fact that everything is dual use, these general models,

you can use them for civilian purposes and the same models you can use for national security, for defense purposes. It's not a question of how -- you

know, how far it's going to be to talk with the Chinese, it's a fact there is no alternative.

I mean, the two countries and their technology corporations that are driving these existentially important for good and potentially for bad

technologies. If they don't talk with each other, they don't create mechanisms to engage with each other around the dangers of these

technologies, then we are going to end up destroying each other.

ISAACSON: Let me read a sentence from your piece that jumped out, which is, A.I. will empower those who wielded to survey, to deceive and to even

control populations. One assumes companies could do that but also nation states could do that. In other words, it could supercharge, you say, the

collection of the use of personal data and democracies and sharpen the tools of repression that authoritarian governments use to subdue their


Tell me where you see that happening and maybe can -- and then, I'll ask Ian to compare and contrast the way the United States might be doing this

and what it might mean in China.

SULEYMAN: Yes. I mean, I think that the way to understand this is that it actually empowers and amplifies power wherever it is. So, whatever the

agenda, it is a tool for reducing the barrier to entry to action in that environment.

And, so you know, you don't have to be too imaginative to see how this is being misused in China or used for large-scale state surveillance. I mean,

these are tools that basically process vast amounts of information enabling, you know, you to make sense of video stream data, track faces,

identify people as they're moving around cities. And obviously, that is a very dystopian and dark outcome. It's one that we really do want to avoid.

And the challenges that -- so, harnessing the upside whilst mitigating the downsides is going to be the story over the next 20 years. And some states

will take advantage of this to entrench their authoritarianism. And so, we in the West have to defend our values and not slip into authoritarianism.

That's going to be our great challenge, is to withstand that pressure to want to surveil everything.


BREMMER: And the Chinese are certainly aware of the power of A.I. to increase the government's ability to surveil, repress and nudge their

population into so-called patriotic behaviors. The United States government has done virtually none of that domestically. It's been in the hands of

corporate actors. Those corporate actors are not interested in subverting democracy but polarization has happened to be very aligned with their

commercial and business models as they're doing everything they can to generate more clicks, more engagement, build more data.

So, the question is going to be, how will the United States, the Europeans and other governments ostensibly, driven by rule of law, work together with

these technology companies to harness the productivity that comes from A.I. without slipping into authoritarianism? Because the -- as I mentioned

before, the easiest way for governments to align with technology companies around A.I. is to forget about the common interest and will of the average

citizen. It will be to use the power to surveil, to use the power to control and to nudge, and that is contrary to everything that we are as

citizens of a representative democracy.

ISAACSON: Mustafa, you were at that meeting with President Biden when he convened the pioneers of A.I., including yourself, to the White House. What

did you say to him and what was that meeting like?

SULEYMAN: The president was actually pretty well briefed on this issue. We spent quite a long time talking about some of the details of what we would

do and practice together. He was very keen that we cooperate with one another as competitive technology companies.

One of the ways that he's propose that we do that is that we establish best practices for sharing information about the weaknesses of our own models.

Because if my -- if I identify that my large language model is vulnerable to a certain type of exploit, it might be that it's good generating attacks

in a cyber security threat environment, then I should share that with my competitors and with other nation states potentially so that they can patch

up those weaknesses, and that's the kind of proactive, I think, behavior that is in the best interest of everybody and one of the proposals that

came out of the meeting with Biden.

I mean, he was actually very, very -- I was surprised actually at how forward-thinking he was and the administration was on this issue.

ISAACSON: And, Ian, is there something where we can find common ground with China and might even be a way that we can work together or are we

inevitably going to be in conflict over this?

BREMMER: Look tomorrow. But I do believe that as this technology proliferates into the hands of more and more private sector actors, into

the hands of individuals that can run these models on their smartphones, then you're going to suddenly see the United States and China with very

similar challenges, they're both going to want to maintain sovereignty.

I mean, the U.S. and China has an interest in ensuring, for example, that cryptocurrencies don't threaten fiat currencies to like take away

governance and power from the state. A.I. will do that in spades. And so, I do believe that it's not just about avoiding a Cold War, it's also about

maintaining stability of the existing system. And in that regard, China as probably soon to be the largest economy in the world, part of a globalized

trade system, a country that is the largest creditor for the developing world. I mean, China is just as much a part of incumbency for wanting the

present system to sustain itself as the United States.

This isn't Russia, this isn't North Korea. It is not a rogue state. And so, in that regard, these two countries do have very strong interest to

ultimately work together around A.I. Unfortunately, domestic politics right now are all pointed in the opposite direction, which I am sure is a part of

why you asked that question. I do think it will likely take a few slaps in the face, some crises that occur around A.I. before it becomes obvious how

-- just how far the Americans and the Chinese work together.

And Mustafa and I, our purpose in this piece is to really try to get some of the world leaders to start thinking in these ways before that crisis

occurs so it's obvious how we pick it up.

ISAACSON: Ian Bremmer, Mustafa Suleyman, thank you all so much for joining us and for writing this piece.

BREMMER: Thank you.

SULEYMAN: Thank you. It's been great.


GOLODRYGA: And finally, Jay-Z may have 99 problems, but a library card ain't one. To mark the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Brooklyn Public Library

has released 13-limited addition library cards featuring artwork from Jay-z albums. The initiative has resulted in 14,000, 14,000 new memberships.

Proving perhaps as his song goes, "Brooklyn Go Hard." This is one of my favorite end (INAUDIBLE).


Well, that is it for now. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. And remember, you can

always catch us online, on our website and all-over social media. Thank you so much for watching and goodbye from New York.