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Half Moon Bay Shootings: 7 Dead, 1 Injured; 1 Killed And 7 Injured In Shooting In Oakland, California; Allies Send Mixed Signals On Leopard Tanks For Ukraine; Ai-Powered ChatGPT Program Takes Tech World by Storm. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired January 24, 2023 - 01:00   ET




LAILA HARRAK, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to all of our viewers joining us here in the United States and around the world. I'm Laila Harrak, and you're watching CNN Newsroom.

Begin in the U.S. state of California, where a pair of new shootings have claimed the lives of at least seven people. It comes just days after 11 people died in a mass shooting further south in Monterey Park.

Monday's rampage took place in the coastal city of Half Moon Bay, where authorities say the shooter opened fire in two different locations roughly 2 miles apart. Another victim was critically injured in the attacks.

Police took 67-year-old Chunli Zhao into custody, and they say they found a handgun in his vehicle close by. Well, now they're trying to figure out a motive. Here was the San Mateo County Sheriff speaking on Monday.


SHERIFF CHRISTINA CORPUS, SAN MATEO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: At 4:40 p.m., Zhao was located in his vehicle in the parking lot of the Sheriff's substation here in Half Moon Bay by a sheriff's deputy. Zhao was taken into custody without incident and a semiautic handgun was located in his vehicle. Zhao is believed to have acted alone and there is no further threat to this community.


HARAK: CNN's Camila Bernal is following this developing story and has more from Los Angeles.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is one shooter going to two different locations, killing a total of seven people and leaving at least one in critical condition. According to authorities, this happened at around 2:22 p.m. on Monday local time here in California, and the shooter went to the first location, shooting at least five people, killing four, and leaving one in critical condition. He goes to a second location about a mile apart, and that's where he killed three others.

Now, we have been told by sources that this was a mushroom farm. Authorities are describing this as a nursery, but in general, this was an agricultural area. And we know that they were not able to arrest him until about 04:30 p.m. local time.

That's when a law enforcement officer spotted the suspect, spotted his car at the sheriff's substation. He decided to make an arrest. This was a plain clothes law enforcement officer and took that suspect into custody.

Now we know he is cooperating with authorities. He was being interviewed on Monday night by members of the District Attorney's office. And we also know that authorities found a semi-automatic handgun in his car.

Now, in terms of motive, authorities have not said what this motive was. They do not know why this man did this, but they are working to find out. He was a -- he is a 67-year-old man. They believe that he was an employee of this nursery. They believe that the people he killed were also employees at this nursery. Again, they do not know why he did this. Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


HARRAK: Well, meantime, in Southern California, the death toll has risen to eleven in the mass shooting that rocked the city of Monterey Park over the weekend. We're also hearing from a man who's being hailed a hero for confronting and disarming the gunman after he showed up at a second dance studio on Saturday night.

CNN has obtained this exclusive footage showing Brandon Tsay approaching the suspect after he entered the studio in Alhambra with a weapon. It also captures a struggle between the two that begins in the doorway and then continues just outside the room. Tsay says he sprang to action after realizing there was an imminent threat.


BRANDON TSAY, CONFRONTED AND DISARMED GUNMAN: I'm not going to lie, I did freeze up when I saw him with the gun. I had many thoughts where I would think, I'm going to die. This is it. This is the end for me. But then something happened. Something came over me. I just had this rush of a thought and adrenaline in this situation. I was able to come to the conclusion that I needed to do something. I needed to grab the gun. I needed to save myself and the people inside.



HARRAK: Police are revealing new details of the investigation into the Monterey Park shooting, but still don't know what motivated the gunman to open fire. Los Angeles County sheriff says 42 shell casings and a large capacity magazine were found at the dance studio where the shooting took place.

At the gunman's home, investigators found a rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. We've also learned at least one person was shot in a vehicle outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio Saturday night before the gunman entered and fired on a crowd inside, killing at least 11 people.

He then went to the second dance studio where he was disarmed the violence coming as the community was gathering for Lunar New Year celebrations while now Monterey Park is coming together to remember the victims.

A community in mourning, holding candles during a vigil in the Southern California city Monday night. While the two mass shootings in California bring the number to 39 in the U.S. in just the first three weeks of this year.

Governor Gavin Newsom was at a hospital meeting with victims of the Monterey Park shooting when he was pulled away to be briefed on the Half Moon Bay shooting. Newsom says we have to remember not only those who were killed, but also the wounded whose lives are completely changed. And he urged lawmakers to stop talking and start acting.


GAVIN NEWSOM, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: It's a disgrace what they say, what these people say every single night. Their xenophobia, their racial priming, what they have done to perpetuate crime and violence in this country by scapegoing and by doing not a damn thing about gun safety, not a damn thing for decades. It's not the right time. Not the right time. Not the right time. Rinse, repeat. Not the right time. Rinse, repeat. Sandy Hill. Not the right time. Rinse, repeat. Uvalde.

For a member of all day, you can remember it. Rinse, repeat. You don't remember the borderline here? 13 people, that was a few years ago looked to look that one up. Rinse, repeat. Not a damn thing they do, and we know it. And we allow them to get away with that.


HARRAK: 39 mass shootings in 23 days puts the U.S. on pace for more than 600 incidents by the end of this year. That's close to what we've seen over the past three years. According to the gun violence archive, the U.S. had 647 mass shootings last year, 690 in 2021, and 610 in 2020.

For more, I am now joined by active shooter expert Katherine Schweit. She is a former senior FBI official and consultant on workplace violence. Thank you very much for joining us.

Back to back mass shootings in California in what, 72 hours? The specifics of these shootings are striking from a security perspective. What are you looking at? KATHERINE SCHWEIT, FORMER SENIOR FBI OFFICIAL: Well, the first thing

is that, you know, these -- I see these as the one that follows the other is really reflective of what our research is showing about a contagion factor, that when an incident occurs, in the four to 10 days after a mass shooting, there will be three more mass shootings, and that tells me to tell the public, be on the alert, be aware, because there will be more shootings that follow. So that's one thing that I think is super important to remember right now. The other thing is to be prepared and be ready to run, hide, fight.

HARRAK: The locations of these different shootings, all soft targets. What can people do in active shooting situations like that?

SCHWEIT: Well, you know, I think that there's a common concern that, oh, shootings. We hear about them and they're in schools, but in fact, half of the shootings that are of this type of shooting in the United States, according to the FBI research, half of them are in places of business, many of them out in the open, as we saw here. And I think of the dance studios in Monterey Park, in Alhambra is a great example of that. But also the agricultural situation that we have in Half Moon Bay, just 30 miles south of where I am right now. I'm in Sonoma, California.

Speaking about this very subject, I drove through Monterey Park yesterday on my way up here. These can happen anyplace, and they are soft targets, and we don't have a way to harden the targets, the parks, the businesses, front of a building.


So, really it's incumbent upon all of us to be aware of our surroundings, to recognize the people under, you know, who are around us, who are under stress and who might end up committing these acts. It's not the police who are going to find them, it's the neighbors and the spouses and the schoolmates who are going to find them.

But then also to be alert when you're -- in your area, you know, whether you're going to work or whether you're coming home from the library, and understand that you need to understand the basics of run, hide, fight. You need to understand that you can save your life and the lives of others around you if you have that simple, simple instruction to know how to run, hide, fight.

HARRAK: Now we understand that the suspect is a 67-year-old and he is set to be cooperating with authorities. What does that tell you?

SCHWEIT: I think that probably he is going to and of course not involved in the investigation and not know the details. But what that tells me is that it's very likely that this individual is not unlike the individual who attacked the other day first in Monterey Park. And someone who has a connection to the locations, has a grievance, real or perceived grievance with that environment.

And the law enforcement is going to be able to speak to them and find out, OK, here's what this person's history was, here's who they knew from this business or location. Most of these types of shooters do go to a location they know, places where their maybe ex-spouses work, places where their boss, who they're mad at works and they strike out there. Most of 99 percent, 98 percent of these shooters are male. And this will be an individual who maybe was involved in a domestic situation or perhaps a workplace violence situation.

And I think that the details will come out. We just have to be patient, give law enforcement a chance to get the facts out. Don't spread any rumors.

HARRAK: Katherine Schweit, thank you so much for joining us.

SCHWEIT: Thank you, Laila.

HARRAK: Well, meantime, we are beginning to learn the names of the victims from Saturday's mass shooting in Monterey Park. So far, authorities have released the identities of four of the eleven people killed. All those who lost their lives were over the age of 50. CNN's Brian Todd has more.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The L.A. County Sheriff says law enforcement is still in the process of identifying all the victims in Monterey Park. In the meantime, he gave an indication of the general demographics of those who were inside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio that night.

SHERIFF ROBERT LUNA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY: They're not in their 20s or 30s. They seem to be probably, I would say in their 50s, 60s, and maybe some even beyond.

TODD: Their CNN has confirmed that My Nhan and Lilian Li, both women in their 60s, were among the deceased victims. My Nhan's family, in a statement saying she loved going to that studio in Monterey Park and quote, if you knew her warm smile and kindness was contagious. Other victims now identified as Xiujuan Yu, 57 years old, and Valentino Alvaro, 68 years old.

Other victims included two other women in their 60s, one other man in his 60s, three men in their 70s, and one person just reported as deceased who had been treated at a hospital, a female in her 70s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt it was very important to show our community support. Our elders have been going through a hell of a time in these last couple of years.

TODD: The U.S. congresswoman, who represents this district, had been to this dance hall in the past and describes its patrons.

REP. JUDY CHU (R-CA): If you went in there, you would see usually older Americans, Asian Americans, dancing, really enjoying themselves, and you know, some are such excellent dancers. They're really into it and love to go every day. That's what I saw when I went there.

TODD: The shooter himself had been a regular presence at the studio, meeting his ex-wife there, according to three people who knew him, who spoke to CNN. The ex-wife said he'd even given informal dance lessons there. The local congresswoman says this is the kind of community where she never imagined such a thing happening.

CHU: This is a tightknit community and it has been very peaceful all these years so that's why it is even more shattering to have this happen.

TODD (on camera): One dance instructor at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio told CNN the facility was a popular spot not only for classes and private lessons, but also for parties, some of which he said, would have as many as about 300 people in attendance. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


HARRAK: And just into CNN, we now have a third deadly mass shooting in California in as many days, this time in Oakland. Police say one person is dead, seven are wounded after gunfire broke out between several individuals Monday evening.

They say no victims were at the scene when they arrived, but police learned they'd been taken to several nearby hospitals.


Those who were injured are said to be in stable condition. No details yet on the person who was killed. We're going to take a short break. When we come back, the European Union announces a new aid package for Ukraine. But Kyiv still not getting the Leopard tanks it's asking for at least not yet.



CORPUS: This kind of shooting is horrific. It's a tragedy that we hear about far too often. But today it's hit home here in San Mateo County.


HARRAK: Well, that's the sheriff of San Mateo County, California, reacting to more mass shootings in our state. At least seven people dead in the city of Half Moon Bay after a shooter opened fire on crowds in two different locations on Monday.

Police took a 67-year-old man into custody and say they found a semiautomatic handgun in his vehicle. They believe he acted alone. CNN will continue to cover this developing story throughout the coming hours.

After weeks of back and forth among NATO allies, Ukrainian leaders say they believe they're one step closer to acquiring German made Leopard tanks. Ukraine's foreign minister says a deal is in the final stage, although it's not clear which country or countries would provide them.

[01:20:00] Well, Poland appears to be the leading contender the foreign Minister says Warsaw is determined to provide the tanks. The country's prime minister is looking for other NATO countries to go along.


MARCIN PRZYDACZ, FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER TO POLISH PRESIDENT: With regard to Leopards, with regard to the tanks, we've already donated almost 300 post-Soviet tanks which are fighting right now Russians in Ukraine. When it comes to Leopards, we want to do it in the coalition.

MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI, POLISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Even if we did not get this consent in the end, as part of a small coalition, if the Germans were not in this coalition, we will still hand over our tanks together with others to Ukraine.


HARRAK: While we could get more clarity on Germany's position when the new defense minister meets with NATO's secretary general in the coming hours. German leaders have said they didn't want to send tanks unless other countries did as well.

Over the weekend, Germany's foreign minister said Berlin would not stand in anyone's way. The European Union's foreign policy chief is echoing that line. He announced a new $590 million aid package for Ukraine on Monday. It covers mostly military training, and it brings the EU's total contribution of military, economic, and humanitarian aid to more than $53 billion.


JOSEP BORRELL, EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: We will continue our support to Ukraine. Ukraine has to win this war and we will support on the best possible way.


HARRAK: More now on the EU, a package and the debates over Leopard tanks from CNN's Nic Robertson reporting from London.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EIDTOR (on camera): $590 million of military aid. That's the latest tranche of military support that the EU is giving to Ukraine.

Well, of that $590 million that the EU is sending to Ukraine in terms of military support, $48 million of it that's going to be for military training, the rest for hardware. The total that the EU has committed. across all areas so far in terms of support and aid for Ukraine that is now $53 billion.

On the vexed issue of whether or not Germany or other nations are going to send Germany's Leopard II tank to Ukraine clarity from the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell saying Germany isn't causing a block for other countries if they want to send their Leopard II tanks.

BORRELL (through translator): During the council today, we discussed all of that and of course what the foreign affairs ministers had already said before. German ministers said that Germany is not blocking other countries from doing this. Other countries which wish to export their Leopard tanks can do so. So Germany is not blocking exports of Leopard tanks.

ROBERTSON: Germany's defense minister says they will take a decision soon about whether or not they'll deploy their own Leopard II tanks to Ukraine. Germany's foreign minister has said that if Poland requests to send their own Leopard II tanks to Ukraine then Germany won't stand in their way.

But what we heard from the Polish Prime Minister today was some disappointment. He said that there was time wasting going on but he also indicated that Poland is trying to develop a small coalition of other nations who have Leopard II tanks that will perhaps go into a deployment with them.

What is emerging here is it's not just Germany that is worried about going alone with sending Leopard II tanks, but Poland as well hasn't made an official request because it does seem to have a level of concern about making a move by itself. John Kirby, the U.S. National Security Council spokesman, said that this was all blowing up.

JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: We're not going to ever agree on every single aspect of every decision that the alliance makes. That's what makes the alliance so strong, that friends and allies and partners can have honest discussions with one another. But to say that this is dividing the alliance or somehow putting international security at risk in Ukraine because there's a discussion over tanks is just way over blowing this thing.

ROBERTSON: And of course, the concern here amongst allies and supporters of Ukraine is that for all the division and rancor about making the decision about the Leopard II tanks, that plays into President Putin's hands about disunity within NATO.

The Kremlin spokesman today saying whenever those Leopard II tanks or any tanks are deployed to Ukraine, he said it will be the Ukrainians who pay the price. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


HARRAK: Still to come, California police have a suspect in custody after a shooting rampage across a coastal community. We'll have the latest developments.



HARRAK: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Laila Harrak, and this is CNN Newsroom. More now on our top story Monday's, deadly shootings in Half Moon Bay, California. Authorities say at least seven people were killed as the shooter moved between a mushroom farm and a trucking facility, critically injuring at least one other person. Police later took 67- year-old Chunli Zhao into custody after he was found near a sheriff's substation.

The FBI is assisting local authorities with the investigation into the attacks. Police haven't released a motive for the shootings.

Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom says he'll no longer attend events with the National Governors Association scheduled for Tuesday as he deals with yet another mass killing.


Earlier, he tweeted, "At the hospital, meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time, in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy."

And the mayor of the Monterey Park, California sent his condolences to Half Moon Bay just days after his own community was shaken by a mass shooting that killed at least 11 people.

CNN's Natasha Chen has been following developments and has the latest from Southern California.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the eve of the Lunar New Year in the predominantly Asian-American community of Monterey Park, California, there was dancing and joyful celebration. Then, gunfire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got three immediates in here and I got approximately 10 deceased.

CHEN: Police say, a 72-year-old man armed with A semiautomatic pistol opened fire on people inside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio Saturday night.

SHERIFF ROBERT LUNA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Investigators recovered a total of 42 shell casings and a large capacity magazine. Investigators also recovered an Arinko (ph) 7.62 by 25 handgun from inside the suspect's cargo van.

CHEN: Not long after local streets were filled with people celebrating the new year, at least 11 people were killed in the shooting at the dance studio. Several more are still hospitalized.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Additional units requested, multiple victims, gunshot wounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got one more critical, one more medium inside the business.

CHEN: After the massacre, the gunman left Monterey Park and police say went to a second and studio in the nearby community of Alhambra. There, he encountered Brandon Tsay working at the ticket booth, who in an interview with ABC said the gunman pointed a semiautomatic weapon at him.

BRANDON TSAY, CONFONTED AND DISARMED GUNMAN: My first thought was, I was going to die here, this was it.

CHEN: Tsay said he lunged at the gunman.

TSAY: I was trying to use my elbows to separate the gun away from him, creating some distance. Finally, at one point, I was able to pull the gun away from him, shove him aside, create some distance.

CHEN: The gun, still in his hand, Tsay said he called police. He's now being hailed as a hero for potentially preventing further violence.

After a nearly 12-hour manhunt, law enforcement located the gunman's vehicle and 72 year old Huu Can Tran (ph), was found dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound.

Police say they still don't have a motive for the attacks. But evidence inside the van tied Tran to the shootings, and suggest he may have targeted specific victims.

Several people who knew Tran, tell CNN, he had taught informal dance lessons at the studio where he unloaded a barrage of gunfire. and his ex-wife says that's where they met.

My Nhan (ph), Lilan Li (ph), Sho Jen Yu (ph) and Valentino Alvaro, are among the dead, most of whom were in their 60s and 70s.

The community of Monterey Park and the tight-knit dance community in the area are now coming to terms with the devastating violence during what was supposed to be a celebration of hope and peace.

ARIANE ALEJANDRO, LOCAL RESIDENT: There is no words to really describe how I'm feeling. I'm feeling very sad. There is too much hate.

CHEN: Police in Hemet, California, about 80 miles southeast of where we are in Monterey Park, said that the suspect actually came into the police department lobby on January 7th and January 9th, alleging previous fraud, theft, and poisoning involving his family in the L.A. area in the past 10-20 years. They said that he promised to come back with documentation but never did.

Natasha Chen, CNN -- Monterey Park, California.


HARRAK: Joining me now from Los Angeles is Mathew Litman, the executive director of gun safety group 97Percent. Thank you so much for joining us.

Another day, another mass shooting. What can be done to protect communities at this stage? MATHEW LITMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 97PERCENT: So it is a very -- it's

a good question and it's a very difficult question to answer because there are so many guns in the United States. Over 400 million guns which means that there are more guns than there are people.

So being able to prevent mass shootings is a very difficult proposition, one which a lot of us are working on. But it is not going to happen anytime soon. We are not going to see many less of these mass shootings for a while until we're really able to do some things.

And there are things that we can do, Laila. There are things that we can do such as red flag laws, which I think you probably know about. I don't know if your audience does which is where somebody petitions the court to say this person is a danger. And then the guns get taken away for perhaps a year.

Better background checks, so we feel that state background checks are better than federal. That can prevent somebody from committing a dangerous act.

Permitting laws in the states. There are several things that can be done that have the support of gun owners and non gun owners. And, we're not doing some of those things now but we need to.


HARRAK: Now, investigators believe that the gunman had a semiautomatic weapon. I mean this really continues to be problematic. I mean the ease with which powerful firearms can be acquired by individuals in this country, is that the first thing that needs to be tackled right now?

LITMAN: It is not going to be the first thing that's tackled because Congress has no appetite for it at this point. And most gun owners don't support it.

So if you're talking about those types of weapons, only one third of gun owners support banning, for example, what are often referred to as assault weapons which means that Congress won't act on it.

So we say we are 97Percent, that's the number of (INAUDIBLE) with universal background checks. If 97Percent of the country favors it, we don't have national background checks, then we're definitely not passing an assault weapon bans.

So that's not going to happen even in California. California, you are not allowed to have these types of weapons unless you purchased them before those bans went into effect.

The gentleman that we're talking about -- gentlemen is just descriptive (ph) -- the person we're talking about is 72 years old. He could've bought weapon a long time ago and held on to it. But these weapons, you can prevent somebody, for example, from coming in from a neighboring state, let's say Arizona, and bringing that weapon into the state. We don't have national laws in a lot of these cases. So people in Illinois, for example, they have strict gun laws. Somebody can bring in a gun from Indiana. We do not stop at the state border. We need to have more better national laws.

HARRAK: So, what is the way forward? I mean, you know, it sounds pretty desperate right now. I mean, these shootings are just relentless.

LITMAN: It is relentless. It is relentless and every day that we wake up, there have been more mass shootings this year than days in the year, right.

So this is relentless. What we need to do is, I think a lot of people in the United States do not realize that gun owners are mostly in sync as non gun owners. If you ask gun owners, they believe in these things like personal background checks, so we need stronger people like when we passed gun legislation in June.

Republican Senator John Cornyn from Texas pulled his Republican -- his gun owner constituents and found out they were in favor of gun reforms. We need more people like John Cornyn in the Senate, who were willing to take a stand on the issue.

HARRAK: I mean do you see that opening coming up?

LITMAN: I see that opening on the state level. That's a good question. On the federal level, Because the Republicans now control the House, there are several Republicans that favor us reform, not nearly a majority, not even one tenth of Republicans in the House favor gun report.

So nothing is going to happen in the house. That means that for the next two years at least the actions is going to be on the state level. I do think that you'll see that states such as Michigan, for example which now is a Dot Democratic legislature and a Democratic governor in Pennsylvania.

The same thing -- I think they'll see these actions take place. We just saw federal action, I think you'll see the actions on a state level going forward.

HARRAK: Mathew Litman, thank you so much for speaking to us.

LITMAN: Thank you.

HARRAK: And just ahead, some economists expect their companies to start laying off employees, while more tech giants are already doing the same.

Plus, the AI powered program ChatGPT is taking the tech world by storm. And raising big concerns about whether artificial intelligence could change how we live and work.



HARRAK: The heartbreaking words from the vice mayor of Half Moon Bay, California after his community was ravaged by mass shootings. Officials say at least seven people were killed and one person was critically wounded when a gunman opened fire at two locations.

Authorities have detained a 67-year-old suspect who, they believe, acted alone and this comes just two days after another mass shooting in California left at least 11 people dead.

This just in, the deputy chief of staff for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced his resignation. In a post on Telegram Kyrylo Tymoshenko shared a photo of his resignation noticed asking for his dismissal.

He thanked President Zelenskyy, other regional officials as well as his family. No word yet on the reason for his resignation.

A new survey finds most business economist expect their companies to cut payrolls in the coming months. The survey by the National Association for Business and Economics here in the United States found only 12 percent of economists predicted unemployment increase. While 19 percent believe payrolls will decline.

The good news is that inflation is gradually easing. And economists expect that will continue.

Meanwhile, more big tech layoffs have been announced. Spotify says it's slashing 6 percent of its global workforce to reduce cost. Joining companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Meta which have already announced tens of thousands of job cuts.

Well, Well ChatGPT is a powerful language model that can generate human like text based on a given prompt.

It is already being used in a variety of applications, including chat box, virtual assistants and content creation.

In fact, almost everything, You just heard me say it was written by ChatGPT itself.

Well, the service can turn out everything from original essays to computer code. It even helped draft a piece of legislation for lawmakers in Massachusetts. But given just how human ChatGPT's responses can sound, it's no wonder the technology is also raising fears about potential misuse.


On Monday Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu called for the creation of a new federal agency focused on artificial intelligence, writing, in the "New York Times", "What we need is a dedicated agency to regulate AI. An agency is nimble than the legislative process is staffed with experts and can reverse its decision if it makes an error.

Well, joining me now is Josh Constine and he is a venture partner and head of content at the venture capital fund SignalFire.

Good to have you with us. What is ChatGPT? How does it work? What are some of the practical ways that we can use it and are we all out of a job. JOSH CONSTINE, SIGNALFIRE: So ChatGPT is not going to put us all of a job but it's important to know how it works because as long as we don't fear it, we can be the benefactors of these types of AI.

So you know, for decades, there's been a popular belief that AI would destroy all of these types of jobs but honestly, there are many things where human creativity will still prevail.

So how does ChatGPT? You know, at first it was trained on a large amount of text across the Internet. Then Open AI's team actually taught it what kind of responses humans wanted to see from this computer, this AI.

Then it had ChatGPT make its own answers and humans ranked those answers. And then finally the AI started training itself using unsupervised learning and reinforcement, refinement methods so that it could find out better ways to experiment, evolve and get better and better.

And what that means is we now have this chat system that you can ask almost any question to and get a smart, very comprehensible answer. And that is why it is starting to give people fears that white collar jobs could suddenly be in danger.

HARRAK: Now, lots of application potential I gather from your answer. What is something that ChatGPT does really, really well?

CONSTINE: ChatGPT can transfer styles. It can take -- you can ask it to write a Shakespeare sonnet with modern rap lyrics. You could ask it to take a huge corpus of text and turn it into a very brief summary or even a song.

And there are many different amazing opportunities here. While it is easy to be scared of new technologies, every time we've been scared of those kind of technologies -- the computer, the car, the calculator and even the Internet itself -- they've created more jobs than they have destroyed.

So I think we're going to see amazing opportunities to use AI ChatGPT to translate legal documents from human English into actual legalese in fact like what they call tome. It can do spell checking and even composition suggestions like Grammarly to replace copy editors.

It can schedule meetings for large groups of people using motion or providing an instant text based customer service with systems like Smith.AI.

There are incredible opportunities here to both reduce the cost of producing these services which will make them more accessible to people and also do jobs that humans are not very good at by nature.

We're not great at looking at tens of thousands of different billing codes for hospital bills and picking the right one. Doctors screw this up all the time.

And so these kind of AIs can take over these dull, dirty or dangerous jobs on our behalf. And leave us to focus on the things humans are still really good.

HARRAK: It sounds like a very, very powerful tool but it also sounds like a lot of jobs will be automated away. But can it be misused? Because for now, we understand there is no regulatory scrutiny at the moment.

CONSTINE: There aren't full regulations in place yet. The U.S. is going to have to grapple with that. And certainly there are safety issues. Though Open AI has done a better job than almost any every other company in this space in safeguarding its AI.

It paid moderators to look through all of the text results that the ChatGPT could give and make sure it would not give offensive or graphic answers to questions which has made it much safer than many other Ais from Microsoft and others that have come before it.

Though I think one of the biggest risks of AI is the U.S. not being the benefactor of it. If we overregulate this new technology, we don't put in the right safeguards or we just expect others to use it, we could see other countries leapfrogging our ability to use this technology to increase productivity, make humans happier in general and get jobs done that we never dreamed possible.

HARRAK: Over the long term, how do you think having something like ChatGPT in our lives, how might it impact society at large?

CONSTINE: I think it will be the age of humans as curators. As AI becomes the creator, the human becomes the curator. You know there are a lot of things that we are just not naturally good at. If you ask a person to draw a thousands drawings that might be able to be used in an advertisement or write a thousand headlines for it, they'd be pretty bad at that.

But humans are still great at using their cultural taste to pick things and curate from what computers create. So that is our huge opportunity here is that instead of having to do everything ourselves, AI will be able to do some of it for us and will pick the best responses. We become the curators.


CONSTINE: And I think you're going to see that in a wide spread of uses across the world, making our jobs a little bit easier. Though it may also mean we are going to need to find new ways to test kids, you know the same old essay questions where they write those essays at home, might have to do those in person, the same way we have actually seen computer science education move to in-person testing rather than letting people test at home where they could use all sorts of tools to potentially cheat.

HARRAK: All right. Brave new world.

Josh Constine, thank you so much. Appreciate you.

CONSTINE: Thank you. HARRAK: An animal shelter in New York's Niagara County is attracting

attention on social media for its ad on Ralphie, a rescue dog looking for a new home. While most ads talk about the positive attributes of an adoptable doc, this one does not. The NIAGARA SPCA refers to Ralphie "a fire breathing demon dog" and says the ideal home for him would be with the mother of dragons or an adult home free of other animals. Well, shelter said Ralphie has been previously adopted twice only to be returned.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be right back.



HARRAK: More now on our top story. At least seven people are dead after a gunman opened fire at two separate locations at Half Moon Bay, California.

An eighth victim was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. This was the second deadly mass shooting in California in as many days. Police took a 67-year-old man into custody a few hours after the shootings. They also found a semiautomatic handgun in his car. Officials believe he acted alone but say the motive is still unclear.

The U.S. and its allies are hitting Iran with a new round of sanctions over Tehran's crackdown on anti government protests. The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned a foundation linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and multiple senior officials.

Meanwhile European Union foreign minister sanctioned more than 30 Iranian officials and organizations at a meeting in Brussels on Monday. And Britain coordinated the move with its own bans on regime officials.

Protests have rocked Iran since September of last year after the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran's morality police. Iran has just responded, a foreign ministry spokesperson saying it condemns the sanctions bowing to announce new sanctions against entities in the E.U. and the U.K. soon.

Thank you so much for spending part of your day with us. I'm Laila Harrak.

My colleague Rosemary Church will be back with more news in just a moment.