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Political Groups Begin Using Artificial Intelligence in Campaigns; Interview with Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) about the Need for Regulation of Artificial Intelligence; Snoop Dogg Enters Bidding War for NHL's Ottawa Senators. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 03, 2023 - 08:30   ET



LT. COL. ALEXNADER VINDMAN (RET.), FORMER EUROPEAN AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Hopefully we learn from this mistake and start to be a little bit more thoughtful, and not discount the Ukrainians so much.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we heard Zelenskyy tell the Russians we did not have that information. It's definitely a bad story.

Thank you very much, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.

VINDMAN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Appreciate it.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to stay on top of that breaking news. We are waiting to hear comment from the United States, from Ukraine on this allegation that is coming out of the Kremlin claiming that Ukrainians sent drones towards the Kremlin in trying to assassinate essentially President Putin. We are gathering much more details on that.

Also breaking, Vice President Kamala Harris is set to meet with top officials from companies at the forefront of the artificial intelligence innovation. Senator Michael Bennet is here on his plan for dealing with the rise of artificial intelligence.


COLLINS: For the first time there may be another complicating factor in upcoming elections. Artificial intelligence. It could play a major role in the 2024 election. Som tech experts are warning that the technology could change the entire landscape of campaigning blurring the lines between what's real and what's fake. A scary thought.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is tracking all this.


Donie, you know, we're already seeing this used. President Biden came out with his re-election ad and Republicans responded with this dystopian image where it wasn't actually images that were real. They were A.I. images.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We've been hearing from experts saying, you know, we're going to see the use of A.I. in this election campaign, and the RNC really came out blazing last week with this ad which had all these images, including these kind of stark images of the streets of San Francisco being shut down. It said because of the fentanyl crisis and military on the streets.

We wanted to see what people thought of the ad, would they realize that those images were fake, and we spoke to some people on the streets in Washington, D.C. Have a look.


O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): You might have seen this already but I want you to watch this. It's a political ad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officials closed the city of San Francisco this morning citing the escalating crime in fentanyl crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did that even happen in San Francisco, even like get shut down? OK, I was like, goodness.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): A recent ad from the Republican National Committee imagines a dystopian future if President Biden is re- elected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And involve when China invades Taiwan.

O'SULLIVAN: But all isn't as it seems.

(On-camera): All the images in that ad were actually created using A.I., artificial intelligence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my goodness.



O'SULLIVAN: So you can see that full piece on where we showed the ad to more people. But important that you hear there that gentleman asking, did that even happen in San Francisco? And when you put that doubt in a person's mind, some person who might not even question it, might say, wow, I can't believe that this is happening in our country. I will say that RNC had a tiny little ad disclaimer at the top that said this was all generated through A.I. but we might not always see that.

COLLINS: How tiny?

O'SULLIVAN: Really small, very faint.

COLLINS: Yes. And the question is, you know, what happened when there is not someone there to say, oh, it's not real? What is there's someone who's like, yes, it's real, or doesn't even question it? O'SULLIVAN: Exactly. This is an area that's certainly nonregulated

right now. Of course, you know, a lot of it comes under the First Amendment. But there is one state, Texas actually has brought in a law that in the lead-up, immediately lead-up to an election, some restrictions on how deepfakes can be used against candidates but how that would actually be enforced remains to be seen.

COLLINS: Yes, big concerns about the impact that could have. Donie O'Sullivan, thanks for taking a look at this.

HARLOW: Joining us now is Democrat Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. Last week he introduced a bill that would create a task force to look at U.S. policies on artificial intelligence.

And Senator, thank you so much for being here. Look, we had Steve Wozniak on yesterday, the co-founder of Apple, who is really warning against some of the dangers of A.I. and he said to us there needs to be regulation. What do you think realistically will be done in Washington, if anything?

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): Well, I completely agree that we need regulation. We have not regulated at all the social -- the massive social media platforms in this country. That has huge implications for antitrust, for example, but also for our kids' mental health. I used to be the superintendent of the Denver Public Schools. We are having an epidemic of adolescent mental health issues in America today.

I am not saying that's all social media's responsibility, but a huge piece of that is. And they have gone completely unregulated here. We need to have an agency in this country, like the FDA, like the FCC, to negotiate on behalf of the American people, and that's why I introduced the first bill in Congress to create a new agency that could do that.

HARLOW: I read through it and you talk about also having a task force, a real focus on this. Can you talk about what you think should be done specifically in your opinion? A lot of people have been talking about something like a watermark. So at least we know that, hey, that, you know, Republican ad after Biden announced wasn't made by humans. It was made by A.I.

BENNET: Yes. Yes, well, Poppy, one thing I know is that I will be dead before Congress regulates this stuff in a way that's thoughtful and in a way that addresses the issues that we're facing, and that's why I think having an agency with experts in it.


BENNET: Right? Again like the Food and Drug Administration. But let me just give you an example. Our kids are being tortured by these algorithms that big social media companies design to sell us and to sell them advertising, to addict our kids to these social media platforms. That is something that the American people never consented to. Our kids never consented to it. And moreover, I think the American people have never consented to the economic relationship they have with, you know, the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and other people. So -- and the kids, my old school district, they think their parents

who are working don't have the time to negotiate with the big media companies and social media companies, and they can't rely on their student council to do it. So unfortunately, that actually means that members of Congress need to get their act together here and pass a bill that says that we're going to stand up and regulate this for the American people. Just as we did for pharmaceuticals.

HARLOW: I hear you on social media. I am incredibly concerned about it for our kids.


But on A.I., right, and this newest proposal by you, I was just going to ask what specifically you think could help the most right now because we are on the brink of something extraordinary, but also frightening.

BENNET: Yes. It just adds -- I think it just adds a new dimension here, which is now we've got the social media being driven by machine learning and generative A.I. and when you write to the big social media companies, this is the same folks that are pursuing this A.I., and they write back saying, you know, we've got it covered or maybe or we don't really know, it just raises these questions. And I think, in the end, things like watermarks that you suggested.


BENNET: Understanding when A.I. is being used, making sure that in the federal government when we're using A.I. that we're using it in a way that's consistent with our civil liberties, with our civil rights, and with our privacy rights. None of that stuff has been thought through. So I don't think we should panic. You know, there is good and there's bad that's going to come from this but I think we should have a thoughtful approach, an approach that's different than the way we've managed the social media stuff until this moment.

HARLOW: I know you wrote some of those letters to Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, also Satya Nadella, the head of Microsoft. They're going to be at the White House this week. So we'll see what comes of that.

I do want to turn because you're on the Intelligence Committee, I do want to turn to this breaking news out of the Kremlin. The Kremlin press service said there were these drones and attempted -- in their words, an attempt on the president's life and a terrorist act. They're talking about Ukraine in their words, which we should take with a grain of salt, attempting to take President Putin's life. What is your reaction to that? And do you think it's a pretext for what Russia may want to do next?

BENNET: I had not seen it before I got here, but I think you're completely right to not take the Kremlin or Putin at their word. It's been an amazing thing to be on the U.S. Intelligence Committee during this time to see the fundamental mistakes that Putin has made because he sits on top of a totalitarian organization that won't tell him the truth about the quality of his army or the way that the Ukrainians would respond, and then to see at a time when we've all worried about whether democracy is fragile in this world, to see free people in countries all over the world demand of their elected officials, do more, do more, do more to stand with the Ukrainian people, to support the brave Ukrainian people in a fight that's just not a fight for Ukraine, but a fight for democracy and a fight for freedom. And today is no different than any other day in that fight as far as I'm concerned.

HARLOW: Senator Michael Bennet, thank you very much for your time this morning.

BENNET: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: Kaitlan.

COLLINS: As Poppy was asking the senator there, we are following breaking news this morning. Russia claiming it's foiled a Ukrainian attempt to assassinate President Putin. They have not provided any evidence. That has not been independently confirmed by CNN. But we are tracking developments there.

HARLOW: And in a major turn, Snoop Dogg making a big buy an NHL team. Harry Enten with this morning's number.



COLLINS: Snoop Dogg entering the bidding war to buy the NHL team, the Ottawa Senators.


SNOOP DOGG, RAPPER: So this opportunity came in order to -- for me to like be a part of the ownership of the Ottawa Senators. So I jumped on it. And then the plan that we have is to also go and build a Snoop Youth Hockey League outside of Canada so kids in the urban communities can learn about hockey, can play the sport, and find ways to get into this, you know, great thing that's called hockey because right now the NBA and the NHL is having some great playoff games and the kids need to know that there is an option to play hockey if you look like me.


COLLINS: Snoop is teaming up with the businessman Neko Sparks according to ESPN. Sparks probably have the most diverse ownership group in NHL history. The Ottawa sale could potentially go for $1 billion.

With more on this, we have CNN's senior data reporter Harry Enten.

Harry, this would be pretty historic if this deal does come together.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA CORRESPONDENT: It would absolutely be historic. So this morning's number is, one, the first. So Neko Sparks looks to become the first black majority owner of an NHL team. You mentioned the Ottawa Senators, right? And, you know, something that Snoop Dogg was sort of getting at is, you know, hockey does not have a lot of blacks involved with it, right?

So black adults share of all U.S. adults 12 percent. U.S. hockey fans about 7 percent. NHL players only about 4 percent, and the estimate includes those who are mixed race. So the fact that hockey is not a very diverse game, and perhaps an ownership group led by Neko Sparks with Snoop Dogg involved, perhaps can lead it to be a more diverse game.

HARLOW: What about black owners just writ large?

ENTEN: Yes. So, you know, we mentioned them being -- Neko Sparks would be the first majority black owner of an NHL team. But, you know, the fact is he would be one of the first in any major sport. So look at the black majority owners or governors as they're called in the NBA, there's just one. There is just one. That of course is Michael Jordan in the NBA. In the MLB, zero. In the NFL, zero. This is just -- there is just not a lot of diversity in the ownership ranks. And this comes, of course --

COLLINS: That's why this is so striking.


COLLINS: That slide compared to this one.

ENTEN: Exactly. Look at this. The share of players who are black, in the NBA, it's 72 percent. In the NFL, it is 56 percent. Major League Baseball has a problem in terms of black players joining its ranks, right, you know, the league of Jackie Robinson, where of course the color barrier was broken in 1947. The fact is, there is a problem all the way down to the player level with the MLB.

But when you compare the ownerships to the players in the NBA and the NFL, you clearly see there is something going on there. It's not the players are not represented in the ownership ranks and they are not really represented in the fan ranks either. Right? So black share of all U.S. adults again 12 percent. Basketball fans 21 percent. Football 14, baseball 11. The ownership groups do not in any --

HARLOW: Not reflected.

ENTEN: They're just not reflecting either the fan base or the players.

COLLINS: What's a sense of when, if Snoop Dogg and Neko Sparks do ultimately come to buy this team? When is the sense of when that could happen?

ENTEN: I mean, look, these fights can happen over weeks, they can happen over months. The fact is you have a competitive bid from Ryan Reynolds' group as well. So we'll just have to wait and see what happens there.

[08:50:01] COLLINS: Yes. And saying what he wanted to do, not just buy the team, but also --

HARLOW: I loved what he said.


COLLINS: Bring hockey to the United States for kids to play, get kids involved. That's how you change these numbers.

ENTEN: That's exactly right.

HARLOW: Thank you, Harry.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Always interesting.

As we go to break, a look at the market. The futures here before we open less than an hour ahead of the Opening Bell in Wall Street as the Fed prepares to hike interest rates again. We're keeping a close eye on it.

COLLINS: We're also still following that breaking news, Russia now alleging that Ukraine essentially tried to assassinate President Putin. The Kremlin has not provided evidence, we have not independently confirmed this. We are asking the White House and the Pentagon about this, though. So stay with us, we have new developments coming in.


COLLINS: This video you're about to see is really incredible. An officer in Virginia narrowly escaping being crushed by an out-of- control car that was spun out of control during a traffic stop this officer was conducting, not the car he had stopped. The terrifying moments were caught all on his dash cam.



COLLINS: Now, if you're like me and you need to see that again we're going to play the video once for you again in slow motion. This as an officer luckily seeing this car, starting to move out of the way just in time. Police say it was a 17-year-old who was driving that black car on the other side of the highway, the teen lost control, slid across the median, obviously you can see there the car sped, slammed into the stopped cars, the officer jumped out of the way just in time. The cops reported only minor injuries miraculously and said the teenage driver is now facing reckless driving charges.

HARLOW: All right. Time for your morning moment. Thousands of fans packed the streets of Wrexham, Wales, to celebrate the promotion of both of their men's and women's teams in their respective leagues this season. Ryan Reynolds was there celebrating with his players and o- owner Rob McElhenney riding in that open top bus around the city waving to supporters. He posted a selfie on Instagram with a huge crowd in the background saying it was bonkers, calling it an unforgettable evening.

Thanks for being with us. We'll see you tomorrow. "CNN NEWS CENTRAL" is next.