Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Lawmakers Grill Execs After Taylor Swift Ticketmaster Debacle; Microsoft Investing Billions in Company Behind ChatGPT; Top Gun and Avatar 2 Among Blockbusters Up for Best Picture. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired January 24, 2023 - 10:30   ET




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Right now on Capitol Hill, the CEO of Live Nation is testifying about the meltdown that happened when Taylor Swift's upcoming tour went on sale on the Ticketmaster site, which Live Nation owns. Millions of fans were locked out or had to spend hours on the site to get tickets. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who helped organize this hearing, says it is not just about Swift but a larger issue with competition for events like this.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Today, Live Nation doesn't just dominate the ticketing. It is about 70 percent of the big concert market. But also they own many of the major venues, and for the venues that they don't own, they tend to lock in on three, five, seven-year agreements, which means that the competitors that are out there aren't able to even compete when it comes to the ticketing.


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Matt Egan joins us now. Look, I think this is something that most people can get behind in terms of a frustration. They can't get the tickets. and when they do, they're crazy expensive. What are we hearing?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Erica and Jim, Live Nation and Ticketmaster, they are facing a bipartisan backlash this morning. You know, the sale -- the Taylor Swift sale two months ago, it was botched so badly that it has actually set off the first Senate hearing of this year, and Ticketmaster, they are trying to shake it off, but that is --

HILL: Oh, Matt Egan.

EGAN: But that is not going to be easy because is just so much bad blood out there.

SCIUTTO: Guys, can I come in for the thank you, please?

HILL: There's so much bad blood out there. Sciutto, he's giving you a run for your money. SCIUTTO: I'm just saying I used shake it off last time, Matt, just so you know. But, anyway, fantastically done.

EGAN: Thank you. Well, what is new here though is that the Live Nation executive, he is -- he's saying that this was being caused by kind of a perfect storm here. One, there was unprecedented demand for Taylor Swift tickets. Two, they faced this surge of bot traffic from scalpers, from, they say, scalpers. And for the first time, Live Nation is also pinning the blame on cyberattacks. Listen to what Joe Berchtold said about this just now.


JOE BERCHTOLD, LIVE NATION PRESIDENT: $5 billion industry in concerts alone in the United States fueled by practices that run counter to the interest of artists and their fans. The recent on sale experience with Taylor Swift, one of the world's most popular artists, has highlighted the need to address these issues urgently. We knew bots would attack that on sale and planned accordingly. We were then hit with three times the amount of bot traffic that we've ever experienced and for the first time in 400 verified fan on sales, they came after our verified fan pass password servers as well.


EGAN: And so he went on to say that this is what led to the terrible consumer experience and that they were forced to slow down or even pause the sale. Live Nation, they apologized to disappointed fans as well as to Taylor Swift.

But this whole debacle has shined a bright light on what is normally kind of an arcane issue, and that is the idea that some giant corporations have just gotten too dominant, that they have too much power, that they can charged fees that consumers have no choice but to pay. And that is central point here, is whether or not Live Nation and Ticketmaster have become a monopoly, a monopoly that is hurting consumers.

HILL: Which I think you would hear from a number music fans that they have, that is certainly --

EGAN: Music fans and some musicians.

HILL: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Listen, we've all been through it. The company is saying -- you can say,, you don't blame me, right, Erica, but I don't want any bad blood with Matt Egan here.

Hey, this is all I know of Taylor Swift songs. So, I'm doing my best here.

HILL: He's lying. He has such a repertoire.

SCIUTTO: But it's a real issue, no question. We've all been through it. HILL: And it is not going to get better until something gets done. So, it would be interesting to see if anything, of course, actually comes out of these hearings. I appreciate it.

SCIUTTO: Matt Egan, thanks so much.

EGAN: Thank you.

HILL: Turning now to South Carolina, the latest on a double murder case that has garnered international attention. This is day two of jury selection underway at this hour for the trial of disgraced former Attorney Alex Murdaugh. Prosecutors alleged Murdaugh shot and killed his wife and 22-year-old son in an attempt to cover up fraud.

Joining me now to discuss, Attorney Eric Bland, who represented the sons of Murdaugh's former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. She died in 2018 in what was referred to as a slip and fall accident at the family's home. I know there were some questions after that. Eric, it is good to have you with us today.

Look, there is -- I think what has garnered so much attention are not just the details of this case but the details of this family and how deep the roots are in this particular county in South Carolina. They go back generations where the Murdaughs have been prosecutors and it seems, even as we saw in jury selection yesterday, perspective jurors were asked about their potential ties to the family, whether they attended parties, gatherings hosted by them, have they heard about the case. Can you just walk us through how deep that history and influence is in this county?


ERIC BLAND, ATTORNEY WHO REPRESENTED SONS OF MURDAUGH FAMILY'S HOUSEKEEPER: Good morning. Thanks for having me. It is a rich and long-cemented history, not only in the county where the case is being held in Colleton, but the surrounding counties of Hampton and Beaufort County where the Murdaughs for generations were solicitors in those counties.

To give you an example, when the judge asked, does anybody know of the Murdaughs or heard of the events, which have given rise to these criminal murder charges, every single person of the 600 or so that was in the pool stood up. And when he said anybody who has not heard, please stand up, no one stood up. So, we have a rich knowledge of this jury pool of either circumstances surrounding this case or knowledge of the Murdaugh's being solicitors or good lawyers.

And do not kid yourself, there is a significant contingent in that jury pool that have some favorable feelings either towards Alex or to the broader family in general. And this is a circumstantial evidence case and I think the state has made some unforced errors in the crime scene, examination and analysis that they've done. And I really think that there is a good chance that there could be a hung jury or some type of verdict that is different than a guilty verdict, whether it is to a lesser included offense on murder or something. HILL: To that point, does it surprise you at all -- I was talking about this with the defense attorney yesterday who said it is not surprising that the defense wouldn't ask for a change of venue because this could obviously play in their favor. But in South Carolina, the prosecution can also ask for a change of venue. Is it surprising to you that they didn't?

BLAND: Well, each side is walking on that razor's edge. The defense thinks that there are still a significant contingent in the county that do have favorable impressions of the Murdaughs. And Dick Harpootlian has spent a significant time with jury consultants and different people in the local to focus on getting one or two of jurors on that jury who will be advocates for him and could possibly be a not guilty verdict.

The state on the other hand thinks that the Murdaughs have burned all the goodwill that they've had in those counties for all of the years that they've done because Alex has committed so many despicable crimes. I mean, he checks the boxes of being a serial pen slinger, of stealing money from family, friends, clients, law partners. He's an income tax evasion. He tried to shoot himself on Labor Day and now he's accused of the ultimately crime of killing your spouse and then that one step further, that you rarely hear about, a parent killing a son.

So, the state feels that that goodwill, whatever existed, has been burned and that in this small county, there are very conservative jurors who are law and order types and state is banking on that these jurors will be more disposed to their case as opposed to the defense that is going to be mounted.

HILL: I mean, details that have come out since these initial deaths, right, just in these last couple of years --

BLAND: Shocking.

HILL: -- there were new criminal investigations reopened into the death of Gloria Satterfield. He's facing more than 100 criminal charges, 12 lawsuits. Eric, appreciate your insight. Thanks for being with us this morning.

BLAND: Sure. Have me on any time. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: All right. From the real sci-fi files, artificial intelligence that can write in an eerily convincing way and frankly controversial one, it is so advanced it can even pass college exams. So, what kind of impact could it have on schools, entire industries, the spread of misinformation as well? Lots of big questions, that is coming up.



SCIUTTO: Microsoft is now making a multi-billion dollars investment in the company behind the viral new chat bot tool called ChatGPT. When put to the test, the chat bot has answered questions with responses that appears if a real human being wrote it. It is remarkable and a little bit scary stuff.

HILL: So remarkable, in fact, that New York City Public Schools banned the platform to cut down on cheating. The program can write an entire school paper in minutes.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich reports.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): ChatGPT, short for Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer, is a machine learning model that can generate human-like texts. It's been trained on a massive amount of data allowing it to understand and respond to a wide range of questions and prompts.

What you just heard me reading wasn't written by me. It was written by artificial intelligence, ChatGPT.

I simply typed in a prompt, write a T.V. news script written by a report about ChatGPT. And in just seconds, the A.I. spit out the copy you just heard. ChatGPT has exploded in popularity in recent months. CEOs are now using it to write emails.


It even passed a Wharton School of Business exam.

Should people be more excited about ChatGPT or more fearful of it?


YURKEVICH: OpenAI, which owns ChatGPT, says the technology is still in its research phase and can produce inaccurate information.

You like artificial intelligence, but are you here to issue a warning about it?

MARCUS: Absolutely. Artificial intelligence is sort of like a teenager right now. It is exciting to see a teenager like get its footing but it is also not there yet and we can't trust it.

YURKEVICH: But Microsoft thinks it is a good bet even with some risks. They're investigating billions of dollars in OpenAI. Jack Po, CEO of Ansibel Health, had ChatGPT take three versions of the U.S. medical licensing test, and it passed all three.

JACK PO, CEO, ANSIBEL HEALTH: Not only can it answer very complex questions, it can also modulate its answer.

YURKEVICH: Po and his team of 30 doctors started using the platform to help with treatment for their patients who have COPD, a pulmonary disease. PO: What this technology could really enable and has already started enabling us, is to suddenly suggest things that we might not be thinking of at all. It will absolutely save lives.

YURKEVICH: Jake Heller is a lawyer and founder of Casetext, which helps its clients comb through documents using A.I., like ChatGPT.

JAKE HELLER, FOUNDER, CASETEXT: You can have it read police reports. You can have it see if witnesses gave contradictory testimony. You can almost certainly help find information that is pertinent to guilt or innocence.

YURKEVICH: But Po and Heller both say that human oversight of ChatGPT is still necessary. OpenAI says the platform can produce harmful instructions.

HELLER: In law, there absolutely is right and wrong answers. And that is why ChatGPT alone is not going to be enough to handle some of the most importance questions in fields like law.

YURKEVICH: And then there is the question of plagiarism. New York City public schools banned ChatGPT on school network devices due to concerns about negative impacts on student learning and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content.

EDWARD TIAN, FOUNDER, GPTZERO: It is incredible innovation but at the same time it is like opening a Pandora's Box.

YURKEVICH: Which is why Edward Tian, a 22-year-old Princeton student himself, spent his winter break building GPTZero, which he says can detect whether something is likely written by a human or ChatGPT. He says teachers use it to check their students' papers.

Is this like one A.I. cross-checking another A.I.?

TIAN: In a sense, yes.

YURKEVICH: But can it spot misinformation?

TIAN: Oh, okay. Yes. So, as opposed to misinformation, it is more of like it can only spot if something is A.I.-generated or human- generated.

YURKEVICH: And that is the greatest fear of all, spreading misinformation. ChatGPT, a tool designed to help humanity, could ultimately hurt it.

MARCUS: People who want to manipulate elections and things like that, instead of like writing one thing at a time, you could write thousands of things to give, for example, vaccine denialism more oxygen than it deserves.


YURKEVICH (on camera): And Gary Marcus there went on to say that we are about 75 years away from the place where artificial intelligence, like ChatGPT, is human-like. So, until then, he says that we need regulation. And just this week, Representative Ted Lieu from California announced that he would be introducing legislation that would create a commission on A.I. because, yes, this is a marvel but we still don't know a lot about it. And until then, many experts say there needs to be some formal regulation in place. Jim and Erica?

SCIUTTO: But the question is did he say 75 years or did the machine say 75 years.


HILL: That's a great question, a very good question.

SCIUTTO: Vanessa Yurkevich, thanks so much.

YURKEVICH: Thank you.

HILL: Well, we now have the nominees for this year's Academy Awards. The surprises, the snubs and the favorites, just ahead.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning aviators. This is your captain speaking.


HILL: Top Gun Maverick one of three blockbusters getting a nod this morning for best picture when the Academy Award nominations were announced. Elvis and Avatar 2 also named in that category.

SCIUTTO: Top Gun Maverick was damn good.

Let's go to CNN Entertainment Reporter Chloe Melas. Chloe, it is a major shift with this focus on a big blockbuster that we haven't seen in a long time

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: It is a huge shift, Jim and Erica. I mean, when I walked out of Top Gun this summer, I was like -- I tweeted it. Look at my tweets. I said this, needs to be nominated for an Oscar. I was shocked though that Tom Cruise wasn't nominated because he singlehandedly revived movie theaters, many would say, over the summer with Top Gun grossing over a billion dollars. It is going to compete against Avatar, The Way of Water for best picture.

But we haven't seen a big blockbuster win since Titanic, you can even go back to Forrest Gump. It has happened before. Everything, everywhere all at once though leads the way with 11 nominations so this could swoop in and win. I also want to point out that Angela Basset, she is getting a lot of praise and love this morning for her role in Black Panther. She gets nominated for best supporting actress, marks the first acting Oscar nomination for the Marvel film.


So, that's really exciting.

Something that people aren't really happy about this morning is that no women were nominated in the best director category. So, that is something to watch that is probably going to be trending on social media. And then when it comes to directing, though, Steven Spielberg nominated for The Fablemans, which is kind of loosely based on his life.

And then another movie that is leading the way with a lot of Oscar nominations is The Banshees of Inisherin, Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell. I watched that the other day and it is really, really good. Set in Ireland, it is beautiful to watch.

SCIUTTO: It sounds good to me.

HILL: So much happening, so much to get excited about. I have a lot of homework to do because I have not seen much. Although I agree, Top Gun was great.

MELAS: I'll message you the list, Erica.

HILL: Perfect. I knew I could count on you, Chloe. Thank you.

Thanks to all of you for joining us today. I'm Erica Hill.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto.

At This Hour with Kate Bolduan starts right after a short break.