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Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) On Intel Committee Nominations; What Is The Controversial New "ChatGPT" AI Technology?; Memphis Officers Fired After Beating That Preceded Man's Death. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 24, 2023 - 07:30   ET



REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Search warrant because the Biden people let them into his spaces. But this has been a case in which the FBI has treated both the current president and the ex-president in the same way. Both sets of allegations, both collections of classified information being outside of those spaces is a bad thing.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about -- changing topics here, but incredibly shocking is yesterday's arrest of Charles McGonigal. He used to supervise investigations of Russian oligarchs as the head of counterintelligence for the FBI's New York field office.

He's now accused and charged with working for a sanctioned Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, in 2019. You worked hard to try to get the Trump administration to sanction Deripaska's companies. I should note McGonigal has pleaded not guilty. But he also had a role in the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

What's your reaction to these charges? And I wonder if this makes you think that any portion of the Mueller probe should be revisited -- any portion he may have been involved in?

HIMES: Well, obviously, very hard for me to comment on the charges themselves. That story just broke yesterday. Obviously, very serious charges. Shocking that it happened -- that the alleged -- you know, the alleged crimes may have been committed by somebody who was so senior at the FBI.

But, Poppy, what's interesting to me about this story is exactly where you were going.

Number one, this is yet another indication of the incredible government-wide effort to try to get Deripaska out from under the very severe sanctions that he was operating under in 2018-2019, including, by the way, his main asset, the aluminum company RUSAL -- EN RUSAL.

None other than the Treasury of the United States, under Donald Trump, was working very hard against congressional opposition to raise those sanctions on Deripaska.

And so, number one, I'm really interested in knowing how broad was the all-government effort to lift the sanctions on Deripaska. And number two, yes, on the political side of this, this was a very,

very senior member of the FBI in the New York office. There was all kinds of questions -- and I don't want to get into details because they were just questions -- about the behavior of the New York FBI office prior, of course, under Jim Comey. And then, of course, there will be questions about did this individual or people associated with him participate in the Mueller probe. And, you know, I don't want to suggest that necessarily --

HARLOW: But he did. He was part of that.

HIMES: -- there was anything that was wrong with the Mueller probe -- but, yes.

So, anyway, there's at least two categories of things that are not strictly criminal that we better learn more about. The lifting of sanctions on Deripaska and whatever role this individual may have --

HARLOW: Right.

HIMES: -- played in the investigation.

HARLOW: OK, I do want to end and talk about the intel committee, which you are on, because there is about to be a big fight over what other Democrats are going to be on the intel committee. Because Hakeem Jeffries has sent a letter to Speaker McCarthy saying he wants to and is pushing for Schiff and Swalwell to be on the committee again. Schiff would be the ranking member. And McCarthy is threatening to take them off, and he has the unilateral power with this select committee to do that.

Do you think it's worth the fight to have them on the committee?

HIMES: Poppy, the two individuals concerned here, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, together, have 20 years of experience overseeing the intelligence community. And having done that for a long time myself, I'm telling you that is a lot of expertise. And they're now going to be victims of a political hit job, right?

So, if you listen to why McCarthy says that he is not going to allow them to be on it, he says Adam Schiff lied. Well, that's just not true. I sat next to Adam Schiff through all of the Ukraine investigation, all of the impeachment stuff. And if he really believes that Adam Schiff lied, he needs to tell people when he did that because Adam is a careful guy and that's not true.

By the way, if lying gets you off a committee, then he needs to explain why George Santos has now been appointed to a couple of committees.

Eric Swalwell -- you know, the moment the FBI told Eric that there was a compromised individual in his orbit, Eric cut those ties off.

And so, what you have here is a political hit job that is retribution for the removal of Paul Gosar --


HIMES: -- and Lauren Boebert from their committees. Why were they removed? Because they threatened violence, Poppy. Neither Eric nor Adam Schiff has ever threatened anybody with violence.

HARLOW: It sounds like you think it's worth the fight.

Congressman Jim Himes, thank you.

HIMES: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: Thank you -- Don.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: He makes a very good point --


LEMON: -- especially about Santos and -- right?

HARLOW: Yes. He also made a lot -- yes -- made a lot of news there.



LEMON: OK. Coming up, artificial intelligence is being used to do accounting work, write research papers, and even pass college exams. Should we trust it, though? Our Vanessa Yurkevich here to explain.



LEMON: OK, you want to learn about the future? The future is now because this morning, a new artificial intelligence tool known as ChatGPT is gaining popularity for its ability to craft emails, write research papers, and answer almost any question in a matter of seconds. It is a powerful new technology with extraordinary potential, but there are also warnings about the huge risk of misuse.

You know who knows all about this? Vanessa Yurkevich. She joins us now. Hmm, good morning.


LEMON: It sounds interesting.

YURKEVICH: And intriguing.

LEMON: Proceed, but with caution.

YURKEVICH: Intriguing, certainly. And a lot of AI analysts say it's as revolutionary as the internet, but some say it's a threat to society. But one thing is for sure -- it's sparking interest among everyone from top CEOs to students. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

YURKEVICH (on camera): What you just heard me reading wasn't written by me. It was written by artificial intelligence, ChatGPT.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): I simply typed in a prompt -- "write a T.V. news script written by a reporter about Chat GPT." And in just seconds, the AI 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.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Should people be more excited about ChatGPT or more fearful of it?


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


YURKEVICH (on camera): 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's exciting to see a teenager, like, get its footing, but it's also not there yet and we can't trust it.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): But Microsoft thinks it's a good bet, even with some risks. They're investing billions of dollars in open AI.

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 (voice-over): 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 -- it 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 (voice-over): Jake Heller is a lawyer and founder of Casetext, which helps its clients comb through documents using AI like ChatGPT.

JAKE HELLER, FOUNDER, CASETEXT: You can have it read police reports. You can -- 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 (voice-over): 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's why ChatGPT alone is not going to be enough to handle some of the most important questions in fields like law.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): And then, there's 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's incredible innovation. But at the same time, it's like opening a Pandora's box.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): 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.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Is this like one AI cross-checking another AI?

TIAN: In a sense, yes.

YURKEVICH (on camera): But can it spot misinformation?

TIAN: Oh, OK, yes. So, as opposed to misinformation, it's more of like it can only spot if something is AI-generated or human-generated.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): And that's 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'd be able to write thousands of things to give, for example, vaccine denialism more oxygen than it deserves.


YURKEVICH: And Gary Marcus, who you just heard from there, has written books about artificial intelligence. He has founded companies about artificial intelligence. He says we're about 75 years away from AI truly being human-like. Until then, we need regulation.

And Rep. Ted Lieu, from California --

HARLOW: Yes. YURKEVICH: -- he plans to introduce legislation to create an AI commission to oversee --


YURKEVICH: -- all of this new technology.

HARLOW: A good idea.

YURKEVICH: Because it's -- we know a lot, but we also know very little about it.

HARLOW: It's -- some people are passing college courses with papers written by ChatGPT.


LEMON: I just keep thinking of --


LEMON: -- "A Space Odyssey." How -- the HAL 9000.


LEMON: No, I will not turn off.

HARLOW: "2001: A Space Odyssey."

LEMON: Yes. It was a little scary.

YURKEVICH: We're almost there.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you, Vanessa. Great reporting.

LEMON: Up next, a, quote, "human pinata." That's how attorneys are describing the police beating of a Memphis man at a traffic stop. We're going to speak to the Shelby County district attorney about this case. That's next.



HARLOW: "He was a human pinata." That is what an attorney for the family of Tyre Nichols is saying after watching video footage of Memphis police officers beating the 29-year-old Black man following a traffic stop earlier this month that led to his death three days later. Those officers, who were also Black, have now been fired from their jobs.

Our Nick Valencia reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TONY ROMANUCCI, NICHOLS FAMILY ATTORNEY: It was an unadulterated, unabashed, nonstop beating of this young boy for three minutes.


ROMANUCCI: That is what we saw in that video.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mother of Tyre Nichols wailing in agony as their family attorneys described what they saw in the video of his arrest.

On January 7, Nichols was pulled over by Memphis police officers for suspected reckless driving. During the traffic stop, police say there were two separate confrontations between Nichols and police as he was being taken into custody.


Nichols was transported by ambulance from the scene in critical condition. He died in the hospital three days later.

ROMANUCCI: He was a human pinata for those police officers.

BEN CRUMP, NICHOLS FAMILY ATTORNEY: We don't want next week to see another video of a Black person losing their life because of a traffic violation.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Emerging from their meeting with Memphis city officials, Nichols' parents said their son was a good kid who did not deserve what happened to him.

Police said Nichols fled from them on foot. Nichols' stepfather said after watching the video, he believes Nichols fled because he was scared.

RODNEY WELLS, TYRE NICHOLS' STEPFATHER: Our son ran because he was scared for his life. He did not run because he was trying to get rid of no drugs, no guns, no any of that. He ran because he was scared for his life. And when you see the video you will see why he was scared for his life.

ROWVAUGHN WELLS: Nobody's perfect, OK -- nobody -- but he was damn near.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Five officers, all of whom are Black, were fired by the Memphis Police Department in connection with Nichols' death about two weeks after the incident. CNN has not been able to reach the officers for comment. None have been charged as of yet.

Speaking to CNN by phone, the Shelby County district attorney said they expect to release the video either later this week or sometime next week, adding that they're bracing for the public's reaction.

RODNEY WELLS: If there are any protests, we would like them to be peaceful.


VALENCIA: And this morning, we're learning that two Memphis Fire Department personnel involved in the initial patient care of Tyre Nichols were fired because of this incident. That's in addition to the five officers who were fired, all of whom are Black.

And at the press conference yesterday, Poppy, the family was asked if it makes any difference to them that these officers were Black and not white, to which Ben Crump responded, "Losing a son, the pain is still the same" -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Losing a son is losing a son.

Nick, thank you for that reporting.

VALENCIA: You bet.

LEMON: Let's discuss all of this and where this is going. I want to bring in now the district attorney there of Shelby County, Steve Mulroy. He met with Tyre Nichols' family yesterday to show them the video of their loved one's last moments. And we saw the mom there breaking down as the attorney described what happened there.

Good morning to you, D.A. Mulroy.

Can you tell us what this video shows?


LEMON: What did you see on it?

MULROY: Well, I can't go into too much detail until we are ready to release the video, and we're going to be doing that, like your reporter said, in the next week or two. But there are two different encounters and the second encounter was the one where the -- Mr. Nichols sustained the injuries. I think that people will be able to draw their own conclusions once we show the video and we are trying to get that out to the public as soon as possible.

LEMON: OK, you said draw their own conclusions. What do you mean by draw their own conclusions there because you've seen it? What's your conclusion?

MULROY: I'm not prepared to make a legal conclusion just yet. We are doing everything we can to expedite the investigation so that we can release the video soon, and also try to get to a point where we might be able to make decisions about charges as soon as possible. And then we'll be able to make our formal conclusions at that time.

I know that people are very, very concerned about this. I think the incident undermines -- or has the potential to undermine confidence in the fairness of our police force and our judicial system. That's why I called in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to do an independent investigation. And that's why I have assigned my newly-created Justice Review Unit,

which was an independent unit in our office primarily designed to look back for wrongful convictions or wrongful sentences. But I'm also tasking them with making recommendations about whether there should be charges against the officers involved and if so, which kinds of charges. And we'll be making those decisions, we hope, as soon as possible.

LEMON: Was this case the inspiration for that unit that you just mentioned?

MULROY: No. Actually, the inspiration for the unit was the fact that we have a bad record of wrongful convictions in this county and across the country --


MULROY: -- and we need to look back and correct those wrongful convictions and wrongful sentences.

But that particular unit is designed to be independent. They don't work regularly with law enforcement or with the rest of the staff. They're housed physically --

LEMON: Got it.

MULROY: -- separately from the rest of the office. They report directly and only to me.

And that independence, which is useful in encountering whether prosecutors screwed up in the past with wrongful convictions is also, I think, useful in making an objective determination about whether charges should be brought against officers in these officer-involved --

LEMON: OK, I got it. I don't want to linger on that because I want to stick to this particular case.

Having said what you said, you have a -- you said you have a terrible wrongful conviction rate, or at least not to your liking, right? So it has been mentioned numerous times that all of these officers were Black. Does -- they had -- do you feel that they -- no matter the race of the officer, that they can be coopted by a system or by bad training, or by prior actions from other officers in the police department?


MULROY: I mean, I think the answer, Don, to all of those questions is yes. I think all of those things may be a factor. And it's my hope that this incident, as tragic as it is, might lead to a broader conversation about reform of our police department, including de- escalation training and things of that nature.

LEMON: OK, so let's get back to the video of just -- if you will for a second. You said the family has seen the video. That the public will be able --


LEMON: -- to make its own conclusions. If the family has already seen it and there is public interest -- high interest in releasing this video, why not do it now?

MULROY: Excellent question and I'm glad you asked that, Don. We don't want to compromise the ongoing investigation. And this is the case in all situations like this, not just this case. As a general matter, if you're doing interviews of people who are suspects, you don't want them to see the video first and allow them to tailor their statements to the video.

By the same token, even witnesses who are not suspects -- you want them to be giving statements to law enforcement about their own independent recollections, not changing their memory based on what they saw on a video.

So we want to make sure that key witness interviews are completed prior to releasing the video, and that's really the preference in any case like this. And that's why we're speeding up our witness interviews. We're trying to expedite the investigation as much as possible so that we can release that video very, very soon.

LEMON: D.A. Mulroy, we hope that you come back as this case continues on, and we thank you for your time.

MULROY: Thank you. Take care.

HARLOW: And we'll keep an eye on that for sure.


HARLOW: Three mass shootings, three communities in mourning, all in the span of three days. Ahead, our coverage of the tragedies in California continues.