Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Pope: Artificial Intelligence is First and Foremost a Tool; Pope Delivers Speech at G7 on Artificial Intelligence; U.N. Warns more than One Million People in Gaza could Face Starvation and Death by Mid-July; UAE AI Minister: We Want to be a "Key Player"; UAE AI Minister: Small Gulf State is Ready to become a "Key Player in the Hardware Side". Aired 9-9:45a ET

Aired June 14, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I want to get you to Southern Italy where Pope Francis is greeting world leaders at the G7 Summit ahead

of his much anticipated speech on artificial intelligence. Let's listen in.

POPE FRANCIS, SOVEREIGN OF VATICAN CITY STATE: I greet the honorable Giorgia Meloni, I greet the Secretary of the European Union, and I greet

presidents, kings, all those who are present here with us today. I would like to speak about the effects of artificial intelligence on humankind.

The Holy Scriptures say that God gave to human beings, his spirit in order for them to have wisdom, intelligence and knowledge, in all kinds of tasks.

Science and technology are therefore, extraordinary products of the potential which is active in us, human beings. From the use of this

creative potential, it was that God made it possible for artificial intelligence to emerge. As we know, this is an extremely powerful tool,

which is used in many areas of action, from medicine, to labor, from culture, to the communications from education to politics.

And we can take it for granted that it's useful influence in a growing way, our social interaction, our way of life and in future also the way in which

we understand our identity as human beings. The issue of artificial intelligence, however, is often seen as bivalent. On the one hand, it

excites us because of the possibilities it affords, on the other hand, did to generate fears because of the possible consequences.

We cannot in any case, doubt that the advent of AI represents a true revolution in cognitive and industrial terms, which will contribute to the

creation of a new social system characterized by profound epical changes for example, AI may make it possible to achieve a Democratization have

access to knowledge, exponential development of scientific research and the possibility of making machines carry out to most demanding tasks.

But at the same time, it could bear with it more injustice between advanced countries and developing countries between dominant social classes and

oppressive social classes thus, endangering the possibility of a culture of encounter and lead to a culture of discarding others.

The obviously what happens with these transformation is linked to the rapid technological development of AI itself. This force for the technological

progress makes AI a fascinating and tremendous tool at the same time and requires a reflection which is up to the task. And in this direction, we

could start from the acknowledgement that AI is first and foremost a tool.

And it is spontaneous that the benefits and the damage it will cause will depend on the way in which it is used. This is something which is

definitely true, because this has occurred for every tool, the man has assembled and made use of from the dawn of time, this ability of hours of

building, making tools in growing amounts and complexity is unparalleled by any other beings leads us to speak of a techno human condition.

The human being has always engaged in the relationship with the environment mediated by the tools, which they have gradually produced. We human beings

live in a condition of otherness with regard to our biological sphere. We are titled towards the outside of ourselves and theoretically open to

others and this is the origin of our opening to others and to God.


And hence arises the creative potential of intelligence in terms of culture and beauty, and derives our technical capability. Technology is thus a

trace of this otherness -- furtherness of ours. However, the use of our tools is not always singly addressed towards the good, even if the human

being feels inside themselves a vocation to the beyond and to the use of instruments and tools to the benefit of our brothers and sisters in our

common home.

This is not always what happens. And in fact, often because of its radical freedom, humankind has disrupted the goal of its being and become an enemy

of itself and an enemy of the planet. The same things can happen --

ANDERSON: Well you been listening to the Pope, speak to world leaders. On day two of the G7 talks in Italy weighing in on one of the most

consequential and controversial issues of our time, artificial intelligence, he described AI as an extremely powerful tool touching all

aspects of our lives.

He said it represents a true evolution. But there are challenges and concerns. He is addressing those G7 leaders in Puglia. He has now become

the first pontiff to participate in the summit. And he has been speaking at a session dedicated to artificial intelligence. He will also meet privately

with U.S. President Joe Biden in the coming hours, there.

Well, there is -- Mr. Biden departs the summit later today, leaving behind -- which has been heavily focused on the war in Ukraine, but also on the

crisis in Gaza -- just been hearing, the opportunity and challenges posed by artificial intelligence more on that later in this hour with my full

interview with the UAE's Artificial Intelligence Minister, that is coming up.

Let's get you to Nic Robertson, who is there covering these talks, he is, of course, our International Diplomatic Editor live for you in Italy. Let's

address what we've just heard from the Pope. And we know I think it was a report in "The Washington Post" this morning, reminding us that it was Ben

Smith or Brad Smith, sorry, the Head of Microsoft to visited Pope Francis back in 2019.

And the report talking about the discussion that the Head of Microsoft and the Pope had, back then about the benefits and challenges of artificial

intelligence this is something that the Pope has been exercised by now, for some four or five years. What did you make of what he's just said?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, I think if you want to step back, if we can step back and take a really broad view,

yesterday, here, we were really talking a lot about Ukraine and President Zelenskyy being here and what he did to the conversations and the narrative

of the G7, which has a very wide scope.

Now you have the star power, this historic moment of the Pope coming here. And really elevating this issue of AI which could have been on the table on

the agenda as a sort of a dry issue, a technical issue. We had the CEO of Microsoft here are participating on a roundtable where President Biden

yesterday talking about development and financing, development and those sorts of issues.

Here today, the Pope has brought this issue this potentially dry issue really emotionally into everyone's living rooms. He is talking about AI as

a tool, as something that is created by man to be used by man, as man has created tools through time immemorial. But he also sort of brought in the

spirituality of how God has given us the knowledge, the understanding, the ability to work with science and technologies to be able to create this.


And we can control it and his message is to control it for the good, his concerns not just that he appeared in an AI fake photo wearing a huge white

puffer jacket late last year, I mean that sort of epitomizes in a way of how it can be used frivolously if you like, his concerns, really, this can

be used negatively that it can be used to bring about social dominance, one dominant class over another or one country over another.

So there's that concern, but what he wants to get across is find a way to use this technology to benefit everyone on the planet and try perhaps, to

sort of equalize the inequalities because after all, this is what the Pope believes in. This is what the church stands for, of offering a faith and a

path for people in their lives, but also trying to sort of bring about better social equality. And that's how he really wants to see this tool, as

he puts it being used, Becky.

ANDERSON: I want to bring in Father Edward Beck is a Roman Catholic Priest and joining us from New York. And it's good to have you, before we further

this conversation about the Pope's appearance there at G7. Today, Nic, I do just want to get you to address the other key talking points that have been

discussed at the summit over the past what 36 hours, not least, that of Ukraine and Gaza.

ROBERTSON: Yes, as Ukraine security pacts with the United States with Japan a $50 billion loan that Ukraine should have by the end of the year, other

ways to try to sort of curtail Russia's ability to circumvent global sanctions to stop it making the armaments that he's using to kill civilians

in Ukraine.

China will be on the table has already been on the table today in terms of Indo-Pacific and the concerns and the alignment that President Biden hopes

for with other G7 partners to sort of try to head off Russia's rather China's malign trade practices as they have seen, whether it's exploitative

trade practices, whether it's overproduction.

All these sorts of issues that are leading to huge trade tensions with China, that is looking for better global alignment on that issue.

Immigration was, again, an issue on the table today, as it was yesterday. And the concerns about supporting and developing nations, developing

economies in Sub Saharan Africa is.

You know, the broad understanding you can connect migration with climate, with development that these developed G7 nations with their strong

economies have a responsibility to try to support so that's been an issue. Also, women's Reproductive Rights is a topic that's come up.

We understand that the host here Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister of Italy would like to keep abortion out of that final communique. These

communications are pages and pages long. And the 43rd paragraph in the communique that came out of Hiroshima in 2023 of the last G7 really spoke

about strengthening the women's Reproductive Rights.

And spoke specifically about abortion and support after abortion for women. And this is something of a debate here President Biden wants to see that

language followed through and amplified so to President Macron of France.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, Nic, thank you. Farther Beck, let me bring you in Pope Francis, of course, as Nic suggested, a victim of a deep fake image

generated by AI. Perhaps the most visible example of why the head of the Catholic Church has got an interest in AI.

But this is a man who many in the world of course seek counsel from as leader of the Catholic Church. How surprised are you that he's in

attendance today, after all, this is G7 being held in Italy. But at the invite of the prime minister, he is there and he has taken the opportunity

to address the wider ethical issues, moral issues of what is, you know, as I suggested earlier, one of if not the most consequential and controversial

issues of our time.

FATHER EDWARD BECK, FAITH AND RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Well, I wasn't really too surprised, Becky, because he's been involved in this issue for a while.

Remember that his history began as a scientist, a chemist. So he's always had an interest in science.


And the Pontifical Academy for Science has been involved in this issue now for a number of years, as has the Pope. And you're right. It came to full

flowering with that global limited image of him in a white puffer coat. But I don't think that that was the primary concern of the Pope as to why he

wants to get involved.

As Nic reported so well, he wants to make sure this isn't being used just for the elite or for dominance, or for nefarious means AI that is. And so

he really wants to make sure he thinks it's an opportunity to help the global poor, especially the global south, where technology is lacking.

And his mission is always toward justice, equality, inclusion. And making sure the poor aren't forgotten or abused by technology. I think that's his

main concern.

ANDERSON: How does he look to you?

BECK: I think he looks a little frail and tired. Remember, he's 87 years old. A lot of travel has a lot of meetings today. Can you imagine yourself

trying to keep what you can? Of course I can't this kind of schedule that he is keeping. I mean, for an 87 year old man in a wheelchair to be doing

all of this, he has to be exhausted.

But I think he's so driven by the mission, that he says, yes, I'm going to go, I'm going to speak to all these leaders. He's going to speak to all of

these world leaders today within the span of two hours. And so it's exhausting. And I think he looks tired. But he also looks engaged to me. I

mean, he looks like he's excited about the possibilities of this.

ANDERSON: And that's one of the reasons that I actually asked you that very sort of basic question, because as I listened to him, and he continues to

speak, address, those leaders gathered around the table there at the AI session at the G7 summit, he does seem very animated in his narrative about

AI and the evolution that he -- as he describes it and the issues that it throws up for all of us in society.

And he talked about how AI will touch all of us, in society, around the world, wherever you are. And you make a very good point, he is, wanting to

ensure that there is equality in the access to AI. And the way that it is not just developed, of course, but the way that it is deployed. He has also

been meeting with comedians of late. Again, something that our viewers might be slightly surprised by, will you?

BECK: Well, he's met with them in the past. And you know he's the pope who says he'll meet with anyone. And obviously, comedians have a certain amount

of influence, and they have a certain power because of this celebrity. And so I think he's had meetings with Whoopi Goldberg before.

And he's had meetings with, as you know, other people there. And so I'm not really surprised. I think he uses every avenue, whether it be pop culture,

whether it be television personalities, actors, Martin Scorsese, has met with him, Leonardo DiCaprio, because Leonardo is involved in the

environment, as you know.

So if someone's going to have influence, and have a voice and Pope Francis can use that toward his ends. He's going to welcome them. He's a pope who

welcomes everybody. So I think it's kind of funny upon that they're there. But I do think that it doesn't surprise me because they want to be there,

interestingly. And most of them, not all of them are Catholic. And they really admire and revere this pope.


BECK: And so I think that they're really interested on what he has to say and how they can really facilitate and help his mission.

ANDERSON: So it was good to have you, sir. Thank you. And the pope wrapping up his speech on AI for those world leaders gathered in Puglia in Italy,

transmitted of course broadcasts around the world. Well now to the escalating attacks along Israel's northern border with Lebanon raising

fears of a wider regional war.

For the third straight day Hezbollah fired a barrage of rockets into Israel causing fire and property damage but no reported injuries. Lebanese media

report Israel shelled two villages today and at least one death is reported in Lebanon from an earlier Israeli strike. These latest cross border

attacks erupted after Israel killed a top Hezbollah commander in an airstrike earlier this week.

They've been happening on and off for months now. All while the latest diplomatic push to end the war in Gaza is sputtering.


Ben Wedeman connecting us from Beirut and the really big question at this point is does this situation this very latest situation on the border?

Suggest, firstly, as we see things getting more intense that there is more to come and are we staring down the barrel of a war at this point?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we are staring down the barrel of a war. I mean, I've been covering pretty much on and off

since October. The tensions on the border, they've always been high. But the last few days they've skyrocketed after that Tuesday night Israeli

strike on a house in Southern Lebanon that killed the most Senior Hezbollah Field Commander yet since these hostilities began.

Now overnight, there was an Israeli strike on a building about 20 kilometers north of the border. According to the national news agency here,

two women were killed more than 10 people were injured, but we're still not hearing anything about possible fatalities, or casualties among Hezbollah


So we don't know quite yet what the significance of that fairly large airstrike was. But what we've seen for the third day in a row is a higher

number of Hezbollah strikes on Israeli targets, and Israeli counter strikes as well. At this point in the day, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, in

Beirut, there have already been nine Hezbollah strikes on Israeli targets.

As usual, most of them are on military targets. And that has been the case mostly by the Israelis as well. It's so far been very much focused on

military targets on both sides. They're trying to stay within these so called unwritten rules of engagement. But there's the very real danger at

this point, that as these hostilities escalate, that those rules of engagement could simply fall by the wayside.

And we also know that the Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under intense pressure from the Israeli populace to do

something to allow the more than 60,000 Israelis who have fled that border region to come back to their homes, Becky.

ANDERSON: Good to have you Ben. And you have spoken to the spokesperson of Hamas, of course, as well, a very important interview and viewers can hear

that online right now. But on this show next hour, you will be back with us to bring us that. So thank you very much indeed Ben Wedeman now there in


Well, another grim warning about Gaza, more than 1 million people. There are expected to face death and starvation by mid-July, according to a new

U.N. report. And the findings show the war has resulted in unprecedented destruction and mass displacement of people there combined with numerous

challenges getting humanitarian aid in.

Carl Skau is the Deputy Executive Director for WFP, joining us now with more insight. He's just returned from Gaza. I mean, I don't think we could

be more specific when we describe what the U.N.'s latest report has said death and starvation is what the people of Gaza face at this point. And

what do you make of what you have just experienced on your trip there?

CARL SKAU, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Yeah, so in the past couple of days, I've had the chance to visit the entire strip, I

went from the southern tip to the most northern tip and six psyching myself through with our teams. I mean, I think the first thing is that the level

of distraction is just shocking.

There is, you know, in the north -- region, in parts of the south, there is not one building that is intact. So the level of distraction, and but also

people are tired, exhausted. They just want this war to end. They have reached the end of the rope. When I was there, last time around there was

more of anger, tension.

But now, there is just a deep sense of exhaustion. In terms of our operations, we have been able to bring more food into the north over the

past few weeks, which have improved access to basic food commodities for people there, but in the north, we need to diversify the systems given.

It's not enough just to have basic food commodities, which there needs to be basic health care, there needs to be water and sanitation. Otherwise we

won't turn the curve on famine.


But my main concern now is really the south due to the operation in Rafah, hundreds of thousands of people on the move, camping on the beaches in

terrible heat with no water, no sanitation, you know, we were driving through river. So of sewage, it's just a terrible situation.

ANDERSON: As I understand that the organization that you work for the WFP, delivered nearly 8 million hot meals in the month of May to Gazans. The WFP

is expected to gradually increase that capacity. But how do you do that as things stand at present with so little access? And then when access is

available, all of the security concerns that you face? How long will it take to expand your very specific program?

SKAU: I mean we take every opportunity, whether it's to get access into Gaza and to have access inside, but yes, the operating environment is near

impossible. I mean, it's insecure. We have been shelled a couple of times in our warehouses just in the past week. And people are -- our teams are

really frightened.

So the operating environment is far from perfect. It's something I haven't really seen anywhere else in our operations. But despite that, we have been

able to deliver at impressive level as you say we are working through hot meals that deliver on a daily basis. We have also been able to restore some

17 bakeries that are now delivering bread to people on a daily basis.

And of course, we have somewhat stabilized the access to basic food commodities. But we need now to expand into the wash, the water and the

sanitation, the basic health care, because to turn the -- on famine, it's not only basic foods, it's also the wide spectrum of basic needs that

people need.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you sir, thank you very much indeed absolutely vital that we get in.

SKAU: Thank you.

ANDERSON: And a real sense of what is going on, on the ground. Sir, it's good to have you. Coming up --


OMAR SULTAN AL OLAMA, UAE AI MINISTER: To work to ensure that the UAE continues on its trajectory as being the most reliable partner for the U.S.

moving forward.


ANDERSON: The world's first AI minister on positioning the United Arab Emirates on the global stage de-risking technology and the future of

education that is coming up.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You are watching "Connect the World". The time here half past five in the evening and

wherever you're watching in the world, you are more than welcome. One issue that moves markets and interests world leaders is that of artificial


And we started the show with the pope speaking about that issue, also taking part in that session at the G7 summit on AI. The President of the

UAE where I am here, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed out now on. AI is being positioned at the forefront of his country's future. That is demonstrated

most by this man, Omar Al Olama.

He became the world's first AI minister back in 2017, overseeing a strategic vision to embed the transformative technology at the heart of

pretty much everything that goes on here. And in doing so, hitching his country's prospects to the United States, describing the relationship when

it comes to investments in strategic partnerships in AI, and other advanced technologies as a --

We'll just the past couple of months, Microsoft announcing a 1.5 billion dollar investment in Abu Dhabi's G42 global AI technology group. And the

city also announced the investment vehicle MGX, which has been in talks with San Francisco based OpenAI when I caught up with Al Olama AI retreat

in Dubai this week.

We talked about the global race for AI supremacy, not least the power play between the U.S. and China. And he conceded that the UAE still needs to

reassure the United States that it can be a dependable partner.


OLAMA: We have been strategic partners with the U.S. for more than 50 years as a country. And throughout those 50 years, there have been very sensitive

strategic American technology transfers to the UAE, like the F16 alpha and many other technologies. And the UAE was the best partner I think in this

domain because we really prove that we are a partner that is going to build with U.S.

That we're going to safeguard this technology with the Biden Administration, as well as the policymaker to the U.S. understands where

the UAE stands, they understand the UAE has intentions. And they understand the UAE is a critical partner when it comes to the future of AI.

And again, I think the first sign of that is a Microsoft G4 to deal. In terms of actual concerns, maybe on this technology, specifically because

the new technology, we added this heightened fear. But if you look at the track record of the country alignments between the governments, I don't

think there's anything to fear.

I think there is, again, a technology specific fear that certain policymakers have. But I would actually stand here and say, we are ready to

work to ensure that the UAE continues on its trajectory as being the most reliable partner for the U.S. moving forward.

ANDERSON: When you listen to the U.S. position, at the position of a number of key lawmakers with the AI file loosely termed. Do you think they have

legitimate concerns about the transfer of sensitive technology to China?

OLAMA: There are things you can control. There are other things that you can't control even in the U.S. Let me give an example. There are concerns

about the use of artificial intelligence to create biotech weapons right? And that people are going to be able to jailbreak these systems and you

know harm hundreds of thousands or millions of people by creating this very, you know, capable super bug right?

Or a virus or a bacterial pandemic or so and so forth, that is a tangible fear that we have the U.S. will have and other countries around the world

will have. Solving it will not take two parties unless we all target about it together. This is not going to be target.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. And the UAE is determined to be a global leader in the space. Investing its vast

sovereign wealth in AI and advanced tech which buys it global influence, while also helping diversify its domestic economy away from oil.


OLAMA: I want to paint a larger picture so you're talking about somewhere around $2 trillion in total maybe a little bit less between the sovereign

wealth funds in Abu Dhabi and the sovereign wealth funds that are in Dubai and the alarm bells. When that amount of money, even if a small percentage

is dedicated to AI, it's a very large sum.

And there is interest for AI to be a key focus for the funds that are in Abu Dhabi, the funds that are in Dubai, we've seen certain investments

being made as well there. So I think we will be a key player for this. It's inevitable.

I'd like to start off some by proposing an idea that I had last night, while being asleep. I'm looking to raise $7 trillion, if you're interested

in joining.

SAM ALTMAN, CEO OF OPENAI: If you figure out how to do that, please let me know. I'm curious.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Earlier this year, reports suggested open AI and its CEO Sam Altman, were looking for trillions of dollars to reshape how AI

superchips will be made. The UAE reportedly one of the country's OpenAI were courting for investment.

ANDERSON: NGX is a new fund established in Abu Dhabi, $100 billion plus advertised as interested in as a vehicle investing in AI and advanced

technology. There has been talk that fund or that vehicle is interested in working with OpenAI Sam Altman's OpenAI the detail of any deal with OpenAI,


Can you just provide a little bit more? Are we looking at the development of the manufacturing of AI chips superchips going forward?

OLAMA: There is definitely an ambition for us to be a key player in the hardware side. There is actually, I think absolutely no reason why we

should not be a key partner with U.S. that develops hardware, if you look at the political stability, if you look at as well as the political

alignment with the UAE and the U.S.

If you look at the quality of talent, if you look at the energy infrastructure, even if you look at it from a logistical standpoint, you

know, as being able to produce and export all over the world. There are a lot of very positive indicators for the UAE to be a key player on this

domain. We want to be a player that develops very high and advanced semiconductors. If we were able to strike a deal, I think that would be


ANDERSON: What you're describing sounds very much like Taiwan. Is that a good analogy? I'm talking very specifically about it as a center for chip

manufacturing it is, it holds such a key position in the global supply chain. Does the UAE want to partner that going forward? Is that the idea?

OLAMA: I don't think that someone is going to replace someone else. I think the demand is so big. And the pace of development of the technology is so

fast that we will need more capacity, more capacity to build and produce. So in that sense, I think we are a player that can be seen that --

ANDERSON (voice-over): The Crown Prince of Dubai has made education, a key pillar of the AI transformation here. And over the next three years

promises to train a million people in the most important skill for the technology, prompt engineering, which in the words of ChatGPT involves

refining your questions and instructions to a model to get more desirable or accurate answers or even just to simplify an explanation of a complex


OLAMA: What should people focus on when it comes to education? What should they learn? How should they educate their kids and their societies?

JENSEN HUANG, NVIDIA CEO: Almost everybody who sits on a stage like this will tell you, it is vital that your children learn computer science.

Everybody should learn how to program and in fact, it's almost exactly the opposite. It is our job to create computing technology such that nobody has

to program and that the programming language is human. Everybody in the world is now a programmer.

ANDERSON: Do you think the Nvidia CEO would be equally as impressed by the idea of this three year program in prompt engineering?

OLAMA: So I think about it this way this actually plays directly into what he said, because if I'm able to prompt effectively, I can code better than

80 percent of the coders in the world. If I'm able to prompt effectively I'll be able to write better than 80 percent of the people in society.

OK. One of them is going to be J. K. Rowling, or one of them is going to be Malcolm Gladwell. But if I can write better than 80 percent of people, I'll

be able to be a lot more productive, right? And being able to prompt gives you that ability.



ANDERSON: Omar Al Olama, the UAE's AI Minister, fascinating. That's it for this hour of the "Connect the World". "World sport" is up next.