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CNN International: U.S. Panel Questions Experts on A.I. Dangers; Ukraine: Large Areas of Bakhmut Suburbs Liberated; Thailand's Move Forward Party Leader Vows to Demilitarize if Elected Prime Minister. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired May 17, 2023 - 04:30   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: And lawmakers in North Carolina have voted to ban most abortions after 12 weeks, flipping a veto by the Democratic governor. Governor Roy Cooper is vowing to continue to fight the legislation.

NOBILO: A girl from Illinois has been found safe more than 600 miles away in North Carolina. Six years after she was illegally abducted. Kayla Unbehaun was nine years old in 2017, when authorities say her mother -- who did not have custody -- took her and never returned. A warrant for kidnapping was issued. On Saturday Kayla, now 15, was spotted at a shop in Asheville, North Carolina. Police say someone recognized her from an episode of the Netflix series "Unsolved Mysteries." That person notified a store employee who then called the police. The girl's mother was arrested and is due back in court in July. Kayla's now reunited with her father in Illinois.

FOSTER: Now, the growth of artificial intelligence seems limitless, but it might be possible to minimize its danger with regulation. That was a key take away from Tuesday's U.S. Senate hearing on A.I. with tech industry leaders. CNN's Nick Watt breaks down the questions lawmakers had for experts.


SAM ALTMAN, CEO AND COFOUNDER, OPENAI: My worst fears are that we cause significant, we the field, the technology, the industry cause significant harm to the world.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Today's Senate hearing is a crucial step in humanity's effort to prevent that harm and to rein in the handful of players controlling this tech.

ALTMAN: So, I think there needs to be incredible scrutiny on us and our competitors.

WATT (voice over): His company created ChatGPT, you know, it can write a term paper or a song, captured imaginations and headlines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could artificial intelligence soon put us all out of work. WATT (voice-over): A.I. has potentially world changing benefits -- equitable education, helping eradicate disease, transportation. A.I. can be life enhancing or maybe an existential threat to humanity. We know some of the risks like rampant misinformation.

GARY MARCUS, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: These new systems are going to be destabilizing. They can and will create persuasive lies at a scale humanity has never seen before. Democracy itself is threatened.

WATT (voice-over): As are jobs.

ALTMAN: GPT-4 will, I think, entirely automate away some jobs, and it will create new ones that we believe will be much better.

WATT (voice over): There are risks like automated weapons we can't imagine.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Could A.I. create a situation where a drone can select a target itself?

ALTMAN: I think we shouldn't allow that.

GRAHAM: Well, can it be done?


WATT (voice over): And there are risks we can for now barely even comprehend.

ALTMAN: As these systems do become more capable -- and I'm not sure how far away that is, but maybe not super far. I think it's important that we also spend time talking about how we're going to confront those challenges.

WATT (voice-over): So, what do we do?

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Talk in plain English and tell me what if any rules we ought to implement?

ALTMAN: Number one, a safety review, like we use with the FDA, prior to widespread deployment.

WATT (voice-over): Suggestions today to license developers and or the most powerful A.I. systems.

ALTMAN: I think a model that can persuade, manipulate, influence a person's behavior or a person's beliefs, that would be a good threshold. I think a model that could help create novel biological agents would be a great threshold.

WATT (voice over): There was support in this room for a brand-new government agency to oversee A.I. but --

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): For every success story in government regulation, you can think of five failures. WATT (voice over): And this technology is moving very, very fast. Google, Microsoft and others pouring in billions of dollars. Government can be glacial.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): When you look at the record of Congress and dealing with innovation, technology and rapid change, we're not designed for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've come to the conclusion that it's impossible for Congress to keep up with the speed of technology.

WATT: There is of course, an election in the U.S. just about 18 months away and an avalanche of misinformation no doubt on its way. So, there's not much time to deal with at least some of the issues at play here.

Another big question, should the U.S. just create its own agency and then hope that the rest of the world will follow? Or should people be concentrating on creating a global initiative, a global body to oversee A.I.?

Now, listen, three minutes on Capitol Hill or three minutes on television is not nearly enough to deal with this massive topic. That committee of the Senate will be meeting many more times, many brains around the world working on this problem. And experts telling me that we, you, me, all of us, we need to also educate ourselves about A.I. so we know what's coming down the pike and how it might impact us.

Nick watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


NOBILO: I had two big thoughts after watching this. The first was that the fact that the actual politics of it was so bipartisan, I think speaks to how big of an issue everyone now recognizes it is. Because there was even, you know, complementary exchanges between Republicans and Democrats about their questioning.


But also, the fact that there are so many issues with developing autocracy and people abusing state media around the world that this is -- has the potential to amplify bias and to deepen and all those issues as well.

FOSTER: Yes, and what struck me about that was the sort of timeframe they were talking about. So, these experts are saying, we've got to get across this, because the election is next year. And were literally looking at the U.S. election next year and the amount that progress is going to be made before then.

NOBILO: It's alarming.

FOSTER: The U.S. Justice Department is cracking down on stolen technology used to help authoritarian governments who abused human rights. Prosecutors from the Disruptive Technology Strikeforce announced five criminal cases on Tuesday. And one case, a Chinese national is accused in a scheme to produce weapons of mass destruction for Iran. Others involved providing aircraft parts and sensitive technology to Russia.

NOBILO: A top Ukrainian defense official claims their forces have liberated about 20 square kilometers, the suburbs around Bakhmut, from Russian fighters. CNN has not verified that. But observers think that Ukraine's gains in the region has been more modest. CNN's Nic Robertson spoke with several Ukrainian soldiers who have fought in the bitterly contested city.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): On Bakhmut's destroyed streets two Ukrainian soldiers bolster flagging spirits with dark humor.

Oh, that boom, boom, boom. Is that on us, one says. Oh, no, the other jokes, we're enchanted, they're not for us.

Russia's push for the remaining Ukrainian controlled high rises around them has not relented despite recent successes, taking ground north and south of the meat grinder town.

In a field hospital nearby, troops concuss by heavy Russian shelling inside Bakhmut.

ROBERTSON: How was the fighting in Bakhmut compared to Kherson and other places?

ROBERTSON (voice over): Karsyn White (ph), a 47-year-old former warehouse manager tells us Bakhmut is his hardest battle yet. It's hell, he says.

ROBERTSON: How is the morale at the frontline?

ROBERTSON (voice over): He pauses, sighs and whispers, it's hard.

Tanks too are getting chewed up in the Bakhmut meat grinder. This Soviet era T-72 blasted by shelling there, repairs made in hedgerows because workshops are getting targeted.

The shrapnel holes don't matter, this tank commander tells us. What's important is the engine and the reactive armor.

ROBERTSON: Locations of repair hideaways like this one are a closely guarded secret. Once the counter offensive begins, they will be even more vital to keep the military and its machines moving.

ROBERTSON (voice over): In a combat bunker buried outside Bakhmut, troops have no idea when or where the big offensive will come.

ROBERTSON: We're monitoring the battlefield from here. We can't show you the screens that they're looking down from drones. As soon as the Russian soldier puts his head up and moves, you see it. ROBERTSON (voice over): Morale here high because they've recently made gains across fields surrounding the town. Early success in the coming counteroffensive will be critical. The lessons of Bakhmut, momentum and motivation is all.

Nic Robertson, CNN, eastern Ukraine.


NOBILO: The leader of Thailand's Move Forward Party, outlines his plan for a new government, and it doesn't include military rule. His vision for a new Thailand, coming up next.



NOBILO: The leader of Thailand's Move Forward Party, says he will demilitarize the country if elected Prime Minister.

FOSTER: Unofficial results show the party secured the most seats in the general election over the weekend, a surge in young voters wanting a change from the military government.

CNN's Paula Hancocks joins just from Seoul with more. It was interesting, wasn't it, how this big turnout translated into this vote.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Max. The one party that promised the biggest changes in Thailand, is the party Move Forward, which won the most votes. And the leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, is hoping to be prime minister, but the two don't always go hand in hand in Thailand.

Now he gave his first interview, since the election, to CNN. And he said that Thailand has spoken. That he has had a consensus, saying that the people have demanded change. The problem is though he needs 750 MPs to vote for him to become Prime Minister. 250 of those are in a military appointed Senate. And in the past, they have always voted for a military candidate. But he believes that the unity of the Senate is not the same now as it was four years ago.


PITA LIMJAROENRAT, LEADER, MOVE FORWARD PARTY: If we keep communicating, and we keep explaining, what we're trying to do for the country -- how well we mean for the future of this country. I think that that will not be a significant roadblock. And the price to pay, the cost of going against 25 million votes here in Thailand will be very hefty.


HANCOCKS: And Pita was saying that his policies are effectively deep restructuring of Thailand. Restructuring of the economy, restructuring of the military to make sure that the military is taken out of politics. And also, reform of the once untouchable monarchy. Now the youth vote came out in force. Pita was saying he believed there was some 5 million new voters who came out to vote for the progressive parties.

But you can't talk about elections in Thailand without mentioning military coups. There have been two in the past 17 years alone. There's been a dozen since 1932. But most experts believe that this time around, that probably wouldn't happen. Because the backlash would be significant. They predict there would be social unrest, and they believe that there would be penalties both domestically and internationally.

The incumbent Prime Minister though, Prayuth Chan-ocha is the former coupe leader. He's also a former army chief. And he has said, quote, from now on the formation of the new government will be in process.

Giving hope that the military will not intervene this time around, but no expert will say for sure that they believe it will not happen -- Max, Bianca.

FOSTER: Paula in Seoul, thank you.


NOBILO: Scientists from across the globe are turning to our oceans to develop carbon capture technology that removes dangerous CO2 from the atmosphere.

FOSTER: In a new series, called "BOLD PURSUIT", CNN's Christina Macfarlane is meeting a scientist with big ambitions to change the world.


CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN ANCHOR, "BOLD PURSUIT" (voice-over): With its unique buildings, a mixture of Arabic design and modern technologies, Masdar City on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi in the UAE, claims to be among the most sustainable in the world. It's at the forefront of the globe's zero carbon revolution.

STEPHEN SEVERANCE, DIRECTOR OF GROWTH, MASDAR CITY: Now, you see the world a making a statement, and we are going to be carbon neutral by 2015. We've a lot of work to do. We've got a lot of work to do in every area to get there. This is one of the most ambitious targets that the global has ever set together.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): It is our oceans that could hold the key to achieving that carbon neutral target. And these scientists at the University of California Los Angeles have been investigating its potential.

DANTE SIMONETTI, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, INSTITUTE FOR CARBON MANAGEMENT, UCLA: So, the ocean stores approximately 115 times more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The whole process, the removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by leveraging the power of the ocean to naturally absorb carbon dioxide from air. MACFARLANE (voice-over): In scientific experiments, they pull seawater through a mesh of beakers and test tubes. The aim was to separate CO2 from the sea water.

SIMONETTI: This is our product here. This is the solid liquid solution. This is the captured carbon dioxide.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): It's called carbon capture technology. Seawater from the ocean is subjected to an electrical charge. Through chemical reactions the CO2 and water are separated. The CO2, now trapped in a solid form, are pumped back into the ocean and stored on the sea floor. The, water, which no longer has CO2, is sent back into the ocean too. Where it is once again ready to absorb even more CO2 from the atmosphere.

SIMONETTI: This definitely will be a sound industry going forward. Carbon dioxide removal will be the new heavy industry that mankind has to develop in order to remediate the consequences of the first industrial revolution which led to the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide over a short periods of time.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): In the port of Los Angeles, what began as a simple lab experiment has evolved into a proof-of-concept project on this 100-foot barge.

SIMONETTI: We envision the next step to be a process that's about 100 times the size of this. To be freestanding onshore. And, then the next step would be a process that's 100 times larger than that.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): Dante says they plan to deploy this technology commercially within five years. And if successful, it could go a long way to achieving the global target of being carbon neutral by 2050.


FOSTER: Now the NBA playoffs are down to the final four teams. Highlights from game one between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. That's just ahead.

Now the NBA are down to just their final four teams. Highlights from the LA Lakers and Denver Nuggets, just ahead.



FOSTER: The Denver Nuggets are off to a shining start against the LA Lakers, in the NBA playoffs. Nikola Jokic led the home team to victory in game one of the Western Conference finals with 34 points and 21 rebounds. He nailed these three pointer in the final second of the third quarter.

NOBILO: It was a frustrating night for LeBron James, even though he finished with 26 points. The Lakers had the ball down by five, when James turned it over in the last 20 seconds of the game. Final score Nuggets 132, Lakers 126.

The San Antonio Spurs are poised to select one of the most highly coveted prospects in years, with the first pick in the NBA draft. 19- year-old Victor Wembanyama from France stands at seven feet four inches. He makes you look positively pity. But he plays like a point guard with a leap or handing skill and shooting skills, even from a three-point range.

FOSTER: Good to have another European in there as well.

The Spurs finished this season with one of the worst records in the league, which is how they wound up with the top pick. The NBA draft is set for June 22nd.

Now, the Philadelphia 76ers have fired head coach Doc Rivers two days after the team was eliminated from the NBA playoffs. In three seasons, Rivers led Philly to 154 wins and 82 losses in the regular season with 20 wins in the playoffs.

NOBILO: But they never made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals in each of those seasons. Rivers is the latest in a growing number of NBA head coaches to lose their job after a disappointing season.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says that he is shocked to see videos circulating online, appearing to show Memphis Grizzlies Star Ja Morant flashing a gun while in a vehicle. It comes just two months after the athlete was suspended over a similar video. Silver says they're in the process of investigating the footage.

FOSTER: The Memphis Grizzlies announced on Sunday that Morant was immediately suspended from all team activities pending a league review.

In a statement the 23-year-old says: This is a journey, and I recognize there is more work to do. My words might not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I am committed to continuing to work on myself.

I mean, the shock here is obviously that it happened for a second time, and he was so apologetic the first time.

NOBILO: Exactly. And clearly, as a sportsman, you are focused on the individual and are able to apply structure?

FOSTER: And kids really do look up to him. He is a cool guy.

Finally, the stories in the spotlight this hour.

A children's baseball game in Jacksonville, Florida, took a scary turn after a dust devil suddenly formed at home plate.

NOBILO: It engulfed a seven-year-old catcher for several seconds before a quick-thinking teenage umpire pulled him to safety. Here's how the young catcher described the experience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BAUER ZOYA, RESCUED FROM DUST DEVIL: I could not breathe that much, so I held my breath. And feel like I could not touch the ground. So, I kind of lifted up a little bit. I did not know what to do. So, I was thinking about something that was happening, not like that. So, I don't get freaked about it.



NOBILO: That's the best pun ever -- rescued by a dust devil.

FOSTER: Amazing. I mean I don't understand how the -- did it literally form by complete coincidence?

NOBILO: I have no idea. I spent a lot of time in Florida. I've never saw a dust devil. But it also makes you understand why sort of ancient people that believe mystical things, because it looks very, very peculiar. Doesn't it?

FOSTER: It really does.

Now, your iPhone will soon be able to talk for you using your own voice. All it needs is about 15 minutes of training. Apple announced the feature on a group of new accessibility updates are coming later this year.

NOBILO: It's meant to help those who have had voice impairments for disabilities. Apple says the tool can do a lot of good. But it comes at a time when artificial intelligence is under intense scrutiny. And we've seen recently as well when people have created the voice of a politician or a public figure. And made them say things --

FOSTER: They're all great ideas if we frame them like. You just worry how they're going to be misused. You can't even imagine, can you, at this point.

NOBILO: Exactly.

The 76the Cannes Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday, with the premiere of Johnny Depp's new movie. His first said it's highly popularized defamation trial with his ex-wife Amber Heard. He walked the red carpet at the premier stopping along the way to speak to fans and posed for photos.

FOSTER: Depp plays the French King, Louis XV, in the period drama "Jeanne du Barry."


(speaking in foreign language)


FOSTER: The "Hollywood Reporter" said the audience gave a standing ovation after the screening with both Depp and his costar, and director Maiwenn becoming teary eyed.

Sweet, isn't it?


FOSTER: I mean he is a great actor, isn't he?

NOBILO: He is. He's a very good character actor.

FOSTER: Thanks for joining us here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster.

NOBILO: And I'm Bianca Nobilo. "EARLY START" Christine Romans is up next for you on CNN.