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First Move with Julia Chatterley
U.S. Consumer Price Index Up 6.8 Percent In November; U.S. Consumer Prices Rising At Fastest Pace In Decades; China Calls Democracy Summit A "Political Maneuver"; Chinese IPO In Hong Kong At Risk From U.S.-China Tensions; Calls For PM Johnson To Resign Over Christmas Party Scandal; Australia's New South Wales Tops 500 New COVID Cases; Thai Airways: Pandemic Has Changed Our Airline; Exscientia Uses AI To Design Drugs To Prevent Next Pandemics; Tech Visionary Steve Aoki's Guide To NFTs. Aired 9- 10a ET
Aired December 10, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is "FIRST MOVE." And here's your need to know.
Inflation acceleration. U.S. prices rise at the fastest pace in nearly 40 years.
Democracy day dig. China calls Joe Biden's summit a political maneuver.
SenseTime stumble. Chinese AI firms listing in doubt amid U.S. blacklist fears.
And DJ Steve Aoki talks NFT, the metaverse and some other.
It's Friday. Let's make a move.
A warm welcome to "FIRST MOVE" Friday and another week filled with Omicron variant fixation.
Our scientific community deserve a standing ovation. Today another source of market preoccupation, consumer inflation under investigation.
U.S. prices rising 6.8 percent year over year in line with expectations, but at the fastest pace since back in 1982. Now, if we strip out energy and
food, so get to what we call the core rate of inflation, that rose to a 30- year high. And that's a problem.
Now President Biden's already promised the worst is over and we'll see that in future reports, but the big question for investors is whether the Fed
Chief Jay Powell agrees.
The U.S. Central Bank could double the tapering and bond purchases at their meeting in next week if I put that into some sense or English, bond buying
could be over by March.
Now, futures still holding on to gains after a pullback Thursday and we're still high on the week.
Europe, however, cautious as COVID's economic fallout becomes clearer. Reuters is saying that the European Central Bank could boost stimulus.
So, we're talking about going in the opposite direction to the Federal Reserve. At least for temporarily at its meeting next week to help the
region get past these uncertain times.
OK. Let's get to the drivers. And a lot of a frantic Friday as powers.
Prices power ahead. Paul La Monica joins me now.
Paul, we've got a Friday feeling going on here right now.
Talk us through the price pressures and what exactly was driving these numbers higher.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN REPORTER: Yeah, this is obviously a very hot inflation read that we got this morning, Julia. Consumer prices overall, as you
mentioned, 6.8 percent year over year increase is the highest since 1982. The fastest rate of inflation.
Unsurprisingly, because we've heard all the stories about higher oil prices and gas prices, that was a big part of the spike. A 33.3 percent year over
year jump that is not a misprint in just energy prices. So, that is something that I would imagine a lot of consumers are hoping we get some
relief going forward as, you know, potentially we've already seen oil prices come down a little bit. But prices were up sharply across the board.
You saw it with food. You saw it with shelter costs. I mean housing prices as we all know have definitely been continuing to surge. Even with
potential calls for you know the housing market strength to finally end in 2022.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah, and you've seen the spin certainly from the White House to say, look, we've seen the worst. Prices are going to come down. You have
to be patient to some degree. The question is in the face of the latest concerns over COVID and the Omicron variant, what the federal reserve
decides to do. Does it decide to accelerate the pullback of stimulus here, perhaps even talk about the outlook for rate rises? Or do they add some
caution of their own in here?
LA MONICA: Yeah, I think it's going to be very fascinating to see, Julia, what Jerome Powell and other members of the Fed say about this. We have a
meeting next week when the Fed is going to give its most recent economic projections as well.
I think the market take is that, as you noted, you know maybe the Fed accelerates the taper and potentially looks at rate hikes and normally that
is something that I think would spook the markets but you're seeing futures still up this morning. And I get the sense that right now, what everyone
wants is a return to normalcy.
And while these sticker shock prices are extremely unsettling, it is, in many respects, a reflection of the fact that the economy is getting back to
a more normalized level post-COVID, even with all the concerns about the Omicron variant.
So, it is this sort of perverse good news is, you know, bad news for the consumer is good news for investors, which you know often winds up being
the case on Wall Street.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah, there's good news among the bad here.
It's just a challenge in the interim. And how long that interim lasts, has been a critical question now for what feels like too long.
LA MONICA: No longer transitory.
CHATTERLEY: We don't use that word anymore. $10 now in the transitory swear box.
Paul La Monica, happy Friday.
Let's move on.
Censure from China. Beijing calling the U.S. democracy summit a quote, "political maneuver" to safeguard its own interests. Today is the second
day of the inaugural summit hosted by President Biden.
And John Harwood joins us on this story.
Great to have you with us, John.
The U.S. sold this as safeguarding democracy in the west, shoring up what it's challenged at this moment. China views this as weaponizing democracy
and said as much coming into this. And the salt in the wound here, the invitation to Taiwan which clearly the Chinese weren't going to be happy
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, surely, we're getting criticism from China and Russia because they are two of the principal
targets of this session. The authoritarian leaders there posing a challenge to western interests in various ways. And what Joe Biden is trying to say
is that the United States has a role to show the world that democracies can still work.
Now, China and Russia, obviously have some ammunition for charges of hypocrisy because of the democratic backsliding within the United States.
January 6th insurrection, getting more and more details about what can only be described as an attempted coup. But it didn't succeed. The democratic
And what Joe Biden is trying to say is the United States still has the credibility to lead the world on this issue. And the administration also
hopes that the existence of this summit and the message that he's sending will inspire more protection for democracy at home in the United States
which has been a big challenge and will be an ongoing challenge.
CHATTERLEY: And remains a key focus in this country and beyond of course, John. What's on the agenda today?
HARWOOD: Well, it's more discussion that we don't expect a concrete result. We had Joe Biden speaking yesterday and trying to rally these 110 nations.
There is no deliverable coming from this. This is mostly a gab fest that's designed to send a message.
The president is going to be attending a funeral service this morning for Bob Dole, his former colleague, in the Senate. Longtime Republican leader
who passed away a few days ago.
But this is an ongoing effort. Joe Biden has made the elevation of democracy and the example of democracy pitted against authoritarian
regimes, the backbone of his diplomatic message all year long. So, this two-day summit is part of that. And that's going to continue.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. You this was a perfect time to talk about the things that undermine democracy. The use of technology to undermine democracy. I truly
hope it's more than, what did you call it a gab fest?
John, great to have you with us. Thank you.
HARWOOD: You bet.
CHATTERLEY: SenseTime, time's up. Chinese AI startup set for an imminent listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but reports suggest they may be
added to the U.S. government's entity list restricting foreign investment.
Selina Wang is on this story for us.
And Selina, let's be clear. The Beijing subsidiary of this company I believe is already on the entity list. What we may be talking about here is
the rest of the business being added. What is SenseTime and what activities may it have enabled to result in being added to this entity list
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yeah, Julia. This company is certainly used to controversy. It's been mired in it over the past few
years. This is one of the world's most valuable artificial intelligence companies with an investor list that includes Alibaba, SoftBank. It
generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every year by deploying technology like facial recognitions, smart city solutions and
Now, according to several reports first reported by the "Financial Times," the U.S. government is going to add SenseTime to its list, its Chinese
military industrial complex companies, investment blacklist that would bar Americans from investing in this company.
We have reached out to the U.S. Treasury Department, as well as SenseTime for comment.
Now, as you say, in 2019, the Beijing subsidiary or SenseTime was already placed on this entities list that barred the company from buying American
products or American technology without a special license. It was put on that list for its alleged involvement in human rights violations in
Now, SenseTime is best known for its facial recognition technology. This technology is widely used across China including in Xinjiang where the U.S.
alleges that as many as 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups are detained in internment camps.
This is an allegation that Beijing forcefully denies, claiming that these are actually vocational training centers. SenseTime in a recent investment
report tried to clarify this saying that they were in compliance with Chinese laws for their sales in the Xinjiang region and that the income
from those sales were less than 1 percent over the last three years. The income from those sales were less than 1 percent for three years, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Just looking at the list of investors. Silver Lake, the private equity giant, Fidelity, Qualcomm. Some uncomfortable associations today
depending on what we hear from the U.S. Treasury and how this company decides to proceed.
WANG: Exactly. You've got very big named U.S. shareholders on that list. If this comes through, this will definitely pose a problem for those
companies. This is also going to likely complicate the imminent IPO of this company in Hong Kong.
According to the "Financial Times," some traders are already warning that the IPO in Hong Kong could be delayed as investors have growing unease,
which is no surprise here. It is supposed to price its shares for this Hong Kong IPO on Friday and given the current price range it would value the
company at about $17 billion on the top end of the range. Julia?
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we shall see.
Selina Wang, thank you so much for that.
OK. Let me bring you up to speed with some of other stories making headlines around the world.
A trailer truck carrying dozens of migrants crashed in Mexico killing at least 54 people and leaving more than 100 injured. Officials say most of
the victims had come from Central American nations. It's not immediately clear why they were crammed inside the truck or what caused it to flip
WikiLeaks's founder Julian Assange could be extradited to the United States after a British court overturned a previous decision that prevented the
move. The British home secretary is now expected to review the extradition request and make the final decision. Lawyers for Assange, who is charged
with espionage by the U.S., say they will seek to appeal to the UK Supreme Court.
New revelations today on the alleged Christmas party at No 10 Downing Street last year. ITV News say the prime minister's deputy communications
director at the time gave out mock awards to staff at the party. ITV says up to 50 people were at the event which took place while the UK government
told people not to mix indoors outside their support bubble.
Our Salma Abdelaziz has been following this story.
Salma, and let's be clear, the former deputy communications director is now the current deputy communications director and the person that arguably is
promoting the message that we're not sure whether this party allegedly took place. The allegation saying, he was there handing out awards.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Exactly, Julia. Let's go through this allegation because it's quite a serious one. This is the chief of press
essentially for the prime minister. And the accusation is here that he was at a Christmas party at December 18th that he gave an impromptu speech to
up to 50 people in attendance. And handed out awards.
You can only imagine that this is just yet another detail, another turn of the screw that turns up that pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson
because it's now becoming almost impossible for any member of the public to believe that parties - parties, plural, were going on at 10 Downing Street,
the prime minister's residence and offices with his senior staff during a lockdown last year and somehow the prime minister did not know about it.
It's simply not flying in the court of public opinion.
So, what we're going to see happen next year is Prime Minister Boris Johnson really fight for his survival. There's an internal investigation
going on led by his own staff, of course, and that already begins to bring in questions. Can they independently review, and it seems members of his
own staff, of course, in attendance at these multiple social gatherings, parties, whatever the term is that we want to use now.
So, Prime Minister Boris Johnson here really has a reputational issue. First and foremost, within the conservative party because this is not his
first scandal. So, the question is, will his party continue to support him, back him through yet another scandal or does the tide begin to turn.
Now there's no election in this country scheduled for a few more years, but if MPs begin to feel pressure at home, at a local level, from their own
voters, that's when you can begin to see that the conservative party could start to question his moral authority, his ability to lead and that's where
you could possibly again, it's not going to happen overnight, but you could see that vote of no confidence called, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: How it's being discussed by quickly, Salma, as being a sort of fight for survival. To your point, he's been through many scandals and
questions have been raised many times, admittedly this comes in a week where the UK government is saying, sorry, guys, we have to step up these
restrictions once again. But is he really in a fight for survival?
ABDELAZIZ: I think there's absolutely no doubt that he is in a fight for survival. Fight for survival within his own party, a fight for survival in
the court of public opinion. Again, not his first scandal. But I do have to caveat all of this with, this is a man, like him or love him, that I think
everyone in this country agrees has nine lives.
They've even earned a nickname notorious here, Teflon Tories for their ability to wear one scandal after another after another. But this one,
Julia, this really gets to the heart of what people are angry about.
It's not the first time that people have accused this government of elitism, of acting above the law, of setting rules that they themselves do
not apply to their own conduct, to their own actions. So, you're really at a moment here where MPs are going to begin to worry about their own seats
of power, they're going to begin to worry about their own position. And when that happens, that's when you can potentially see a sea change, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. The Teflon most definitely being tested at this moment.
Salma Abdelaziz, thank you for that.
OK. Still to come here on "FIRST MOVE."
Precision-engineered pills. UK Pharmatech using artificial intelligence to design health care drugs.
And Steve Aoki is a-OK about NFTs. I get his take on those and the metaverse. We'll explain, don't worry. That's all coming up. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And the Wall Street bulls looking past another heated read on U.S. inflation with consumer prices rising 6.8 percent year over year to a 39-
Futures pointing to a strong open though across the board. It's know -- nothing we don't already know.
Inflation of course a global concern though too with Brazil raising interest rates a seventh straight time on Wednesday of this week.
Poland hiking rates for a third time.
And China reporting another uptick in food inflation this week, too.
In the meantime, workers' rights also in shareholder sights. Shares of European food delivery firms like Deliveroo pulling back in today's
session. The European Commission moving closer to recognizing gig workers as full-time employees and, therefore, deserving benefits. That's not how
the business model works, of course. At least for now.
Also, today, a latte of labor challenges for Starbucks. For the first time ever Starbucks workers at an upstate New York store have voted to unionize.
A move that could force the chain to hike wages further.
In the meantime, COVID infections are rising fast in parts of Asia-Pacific.
In Australia, the state of New South Wales has just reported its highest daily case count in two months.
CNN's Paula Hancocks has more on the outbreak across the region.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: COVID-19 cases here in Australia's most populous city, Sydney, are starting to creep up once again. And this state
of New South Wales, over 500 new cases. And that hasn't happened since early October.
Now officials saying one of the main reasons for that is because you are coming to the end of the year. There are a lot of holiday parties and so
many of these cluster infections are happening in pubs and in clubs.
But still, the hospitalizations are fairly low and the reason for that is the high level of vaccination here. In New South Wales alone, some 93
percent of those aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated.
Now things aren't looking quite so good in South Korea. At this point, we see a very grim milestone being reached at over half a million cases have
now been recorded. And critical cases are still hovering around record highs. The number of new cases, over 7,000, for the third day in a row.
Officials say that they are trying to find more ICU beds. It's not simply the beds they have to find though. It's the doctors and nurses who are able
to man those ICU beds as well. And officials tell us that many of those who are in hospital at this point are over the age of 60. They would have been
vaccinated early on in the process. And they are making sure that they can rush these booster shots out as quickly as possible.
The prime minister announcing that anyone can have a booster shot over the age of 18, as long as the second shot was just three months ago. So,
they're trying to shorten the gap between those shots.
And also, when we look at China, they have also reported another 60 cases in seven cities. But they are still holding on to that zero COVID policy.
One of the very few countries in the world still to try and do that.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Sydney, Australia.
CHATTERLEY: And the head of Thai Airways says the new Omicron variant is a concern as the airline focuses on recovery as he discussed with Richard
PIYASVASTI AMRANAND, CHAIRMAN OF THE PLAN ADMINISTRATOR, THAI AIRWAYS: We are keeping close watch on that. So far, so good. So far that we have seen
some cancellation, not so much, because in the end, I think it really depends on the reactions of the various countries.
We noticed very clearly that if any country locks down, then obviously you see a lot of cancellation. If you see both countries, destination and
origin open up, then the number of passengers go up tremendously.
So far, we haven't seen severe lockdown in Europe or in countries around here yet.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": And what about -- I mean, the Thai authorities did the sandbox.
QUEST: Which was quite successful -- difficult, but it was quite successful. Now, you have the Thai Pass. Are you satisfied?
AMRANAND: Fairly satisfied, although I would really prefer if there are fewer rules and regulations, but I suppose maybe that's asking a bit too
much given that omicron is here and it is unclear what the effect would be.
You have been to Bangkok. There is sort of really one-day quarantine, which is not so bad that I think passengers can accept. It was 14-day quarantine.
That was terrible.
QUEST: What will Thai Airways look like once the rehabilitation is over?
AMRANAND: Well, actually Thai Airways is already looking quite different at the moment because in the process of rehabilitation, you have to transform
and reform the work process of the airline.
Already, we are seeing a smaller workforce. We have cut down the staff by 50 percent, and the airline is much more efficient.
The quality of service, the seats, in-flight entertainment will be more consistent among the aircrafts because you know previously, some aircrafts
had flat beds, some aircrafts had terrible reclining beds. Now, everything will be flat bed for the long haul.
QUEST: That is looking at, in a sense of bringing the cost down. That looks at one side of the equation.
QUEST: Which is an important side, I'll grant you, if you can get your cost base down. But from an airline model perspective, what will Thai be?
AMRANAND: Thai Airways initially will be probably going back to where we were before COVID, but a lot more efficient. Our network will be good. At
the moment, the best network is probably in Europe.
Our problem at the moment, I think is that many countries are still closed to visitors, particularly in Asia. You can't go to China, Japan, Hong Kong,
and also neighboring countries here. Only Cambodia has opened recently. Singapore will be open on the 14th of December.
Now initially, we will go back to where we were with networks, with frequent flights to all these destinations. With 57 aircrafts, I think that
that will be all we can do at the moment.
QUEST: Where do you fit into the aviation architecture between the very powerful Gulf carriers -- Qatar Etihad, Emirates -- and the highly
efficient low-cost carriers, AirAsia and the like?
AMRANAND: But for the long haul, we don't have the low-cost airline flying. AirAsia doesn't fly to Europe. But for the Gulf carriers, if you come from
Europe to Bangkok, you have to change in the Middle East. Thai Airways has direct flight and that is a lot more convenient for passengers.
Now, it's terrible to be woken up at night to change in Dubai or Qatar or whatever. That's the first reason. The second reason with COVID, you know,
who knows? You might contract COVID during transit. And it's also more environmentally friendly, because CO2 emission for direct flights is less
than taking a flight where you stop in the Middle East.
QUEST: But they can beat you on price every time because the power of their networks and their ability to yield management discount.
AMRANAND: But then, with our lower costs, we will be more competitive.
And also, I think, our network to send passengers to neighboring countries to Yangon to Vinh or whatever is the best for airlines around here, I'm
CHATTERLEY: The chief of Thai Airways there. We're back after this with the market open.
CHATTERLEY: And welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And the opening bell on Wall Street there.
A renewable energetic lift for stocks today. We're higher for the fourth time this week. Shares rising even as new data shows consumer inflation
rising to 39-year highs last month. It did come in as expected, though, and that's key.
Speculation now growing that the Federal Reserve could begin raising rates as soon as the spring of 2022.
A big stock gainer, first day with Brazilian fintech firm Nubank. Remember we spoke to them. Shares closed up some 15 percent after its New York Stock
The Warren Buffett-backed firm is now valued at around $50 billion. You heard the CEO of the company talk about the deal right here on "FIRST MOVE"
of course yesterday.
Contrast that with the market debut of media firm BuzzFeed which went public in a special purpose acquisition company deal this week, too. The
company shares falling for a fourth straight session Thursday down some 40 percent since Monday.
Now after nearly two years of battling a global pandemic, the world remains unprepared for the next one. That's according to the latest global health
security report that says most nations are still unable to handle even small outbreaks. But what if we could react quicker and more efficiently
Well, that's part of the mission of a Exscientia. It's a pharma tech firm that uses artificial intelligence to precision engineer drugs cutting the
amount of time to develop those drugs by up to 80 percent. Now that includes potential treatments for coronaviruses of the future, Alzheimer's
and even one day cancers.
The company's founder and CEO Andrew Hopkins believes all drugs will be designed by AI by 2030.
And I'm pleased to say he joins us now.
Andrew, fantastic to have you on the show.
I know you've been working at this for just over a decade. And it began at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, I believe, walking home from the lab and you were
like, we have to be able to do this in a more efficient way. Just explain the vision and the work you're doing there.
ANDREW HOPKINS, FOUNDER AND CEO, EXSCIENTIA: Oh, absolutely, Julia. It's a pleasure to be here today.
Yeah, I remember that exact moment. Walking home from a lab in Oxford about 2:00 a.m. Our time is is to try and design HIV drugs. Ever since then,
everything we've done has been a mission of how we can use technology to accelerate the creation of new medicines faster.
And you mentioned on the start, we have Pharmatech. In fact, we world's first Pharmatech. And that's about combining equally technology and drug
content. It means actually how Exscientia was used artificial intelligence to improve every aspect of drug creation from how we identify, which
patients a drug should go into to actually use an AI to design drugs as well.
CHATTERLEY: One of the things you said to me before we came into this interview is 96 percent of drugs in human trials fail. The risk reward
therefore of even entering human trials is so incredibly skewed. Part of the benefit here is if we can use artificial intelligence to analyze the
data better and go into human trials with far more information than you dramatically change the economics of that point of entry which, for me,
feels like a game changer ultimately for patient care. For the quality of patient care which I know is fundamental to your belief system of what
you're trying to achieve here too.
HOPKINS: It is. If we look at economic history, it's shown us that inherently more productive systems ultimately become a dominant practice in
the industry. What we've done now, we use now AI-driven approaches. We've now designed seven drug candidates, three of which now are the first AI-
designed drugs in human clinical trials.
And from the productivity, we've gained so far, it really gives us confidence that this is probably the most efficient way to discover new
medicines. And ultimately, we think that will become a dominant way of doing things. Hence as what we believe ultimately all drugs will be
designed by AI.
But think about it, the wealth of data that we now have available to us and that knowledge is far greater than any human could actually comprehend. So,
what we're doing then is using AI so we can bring to bear all of that data into all of our design decision making so we can precision engineer of our
drug against many different parameters to make sure it's -- we're not just designing drugs faster but also designing better drugs as well.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah, more efficient drugs. And actually, that goes to, I know the core area that you're focused on which is precision oncology. How do we
best treat cancer patients? Look at their genetic make-up, look at what cancer we're treating. And you've published work I know on blood cancers,
too. How far are we from the point where we can identify a cancer in a patient and go, we can precision engineer a treatment that's going to be
the most effective for treating them?
HOPKINS: One of the key steps Exscientia has done now is we shown how we can lead a way into creating truly personalized drug cancer therapies for
Only a few weeks ago, we published our groundbreaking paper on a precision medicine platform. The first trial of its kind really that's shown at an AI
machine learn approach can significantly improve outcomes for late-stage cancer patients. As you said, in blood cancers. And that was in a
perspective of clinical trial.
We saw 30 percent improvement compared to better outcomes. By drugs selected by our single cell AI approaches, compared to a physician alone.
So, this we think is an incredible advance actually. But we are working to demonstrate now beyond blood cancers how we can be sure that this can be
used for personalized screening for a wide range of different cancer types.
Ultimately, you can imagine a world where this personalized drug screener can be applied actually for -- and should be available to every cancer
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. And that goes for a bigger point and I'll circle back to this. The sort of inequality that we see in all forms of treatments around
the world and we've seen that I think most clearly in the last 18 months with what we've seen with access to vaccines for COVID-19.
And this is where you caught my attention because I know you -- and you have some huge investors quite frankly like SoftBank, but the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation also got involved because part of the belief is that -- and we've seen this with the variant -- the Omicron variant. We
shouldn't have to have back to the drawing board, let's tweak these vaccines to try and understand which variant we're tackling. We should be
able to develop a broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus agent. And that's part of, I think, how we can use artificial intelligence, we hope, currently and
in the future to create something again that's more efficient.
HOPKINS: Absolutely. I don't want to sort of breakout in answering just two important areas. The first one is that we use AI-led approach and how we
can think about our ability to precision engineer broad spectrum antivirals. How are specific parameters we believe to be optimal treatment?
It has to be a drug that actually is not just overcomes susceptibility to current mutations we have in a variant, but more importantly it's broad
spectrum. It's a wide variety of potential of coronaviruses. Has to be something that's going to have much better sort of administration to
But importantly, also a small molecular drug that can be globally distributed. So that everyone can have access to it especially in
developing countries. That's a key focus as well of the Gates project.
But one thing we think about actually and this is the work of the Gates that's been expanded is how can we future proof ourselves as a society. How
can we actually develop drugs against potential future pandemics and be prepared for it? Not only just developing broad spectrum coronavirus agents
but against other potential pandemic threats we face such as influenza. Killed 100 million people just over a hundred years ago.
And also emerging new threats like Nipah virus. Nipah virus has a death rate of about 75 percent. Currently it has animal to human transmission.
It's been sort of a scourge of parts of Southeast Asia, but if that ever became a human-to-human transmission it could be actually become very
dangerous virus indeed.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. And you know we talk about COVID-19 and nonstop for the last 18 months, but you said this to me, and it was such an important
reminder that we've had SARS and we've had MERS. Just the the west didn't really focus on them because they happened in other parts of the world.
We've had too many pandemics and we need to react to them sooner and quicker and more efficiently too.
I've mentioned big investors. You also just IPO'd. I'm sure big tech needs to be looking at this and is looking at this already. Why stay independent,
Andrew? Because I'm sure you had some amazing offers from big pharma. Why IPO? Why go it alone? What is it about what you're achieving here that you
think requires that you remain independent because you are, I think, disrupting the approach for drug development in many critical ways?
HOPKINS: Absolutely, Julia. And you're right. We debuted on Nasdaq on 1st October. A $510 million IPO raise. And Exscientia is leading the wave how
we can -- AI can transform the pharma industry. And to do so, we want to build in an end-to-end platform. In fact, it's been nearly 10 years in
development of building this company.
And to do so, that combination of equally tech and equally drug company is important because it's actually more about technology. It's about
ultimately how you bring technology together into an AI first process that's patient centric and actually is technology driven.
So, in fact, it's not just about applying some algorithms into an existing process in size or exist in large pharma companies but ultimately, if we
were to transform this industry, we believe actually we need to take an AI first approach to every engineer in the entire process of how we think
about drug creation.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah, and the beauty of this as well. I know you're doing work on Alzheimer's. We mentioned oncology. Drugs to help with mental health as
well. So, it's scalable across some all sorts of industries.
Andrew, I never have enough time on this show. And this is no exception.
Come back and talk to us soon, please. I'm going to want to track your progress on what you're seeing with the drugs that you have in development.
Because you also have a huge pipeline, too.
Andrew, a huge pleasure. Thank you for joining us.
HOPKINS: Julia, thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you.
Andrew Hopkins there.
OK. Up next, a man of the future.
The one and only Steve Aoki. His Non-fungible tokens, NFTs, and the metaverse is next. Don't worry, we'll explain. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And it's Steve Aoki time. And I'm very excited to introduce this two-part interview. The superstar, DJ and content king, is considered I think a
creative visionary from the late Steve Jobs to the rapper will.i.am. we're talking about influencers who signed post the feature of technology and the
content people choose to consume.
Now I chose will.i.am because Steve Aoki has collaborated with him along with a constellation of other stars from Backstreet Boys to BTS. Recently,
he's decided to delve into the world of NFTs and the metaverse.
One of my favorite challenges this year has been trying to explain the interest and the meaning of those non-fungible tokens. Well, here's
"Saturday Night Live's" alternative explanation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I had to explain NFTs, I'd probably say that --
Hey, here's the thing about NFTs, it's non-fungible token you see. Non- fungible means that it's unique. There can only be one like you and me.
NFTs are insane.
Built on a blockchain.
A digital ledger of transactions.
It records information on what's happening, what it's meant, you can sell it as art and this concludes my rapping part.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: I think it's definitely better than anything I did. Now after that if you still think NFTs are a fad, bear in mind one estimate put sales
this year at nearly $40 billion. And looking at the NFT universe, I asked Steve Aoki how we separate good from bad.
STEVE AOKI, MUSIC PRODUCER: It's the wild, wild west. It is, to this point, where there will be in the future, there will only be the Google, the
Tesla, you know, just like the same that way we look at how things have evolved to this point with certain technologies. There's always only a few
that really make it. The Microsofts, the Apples, you know. And everyone else kind of subsides or dies down or jumps into the bigger groups. And
that's exactly what's happening now.
We're at the beginning of a new frontier. And the barrier of entry to enter into this space is so low that it allows for so many different people to
also participate. Good and bad.
Bad indicates that there's 99 percent of these projects will end up at zero or 98 percent. I'm sure there will be more projects that will survive. Good
that it allows for people to also feel like they can be a creator. It allows for more innovation, more ideas. It allows for more, you know, like
where you are, the architect.
You're not just a participant. Because I am a collector. I am a buyer. I look at what I see. I see, hey, this really gives me really valuable
service I never experienced before. And I think it can help evolve what we're doing in this space. And I'm also a creator. And I also want to
participate in the -- in what the innovation looks like. So, you can do both in this space.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah, which is one of the beauties of it. But I want to talk to you as the investor, creator at this moment. How do you identify what's
going to be a winner? How do we identify the NFT equivalents as you said of the Amazons, the Googles and the Teslas? What do people who aren't so
involved and sophisticated in this space, what do they have to look for?
AOKI: With NFTs and the culture behind NFTs. I've never experienced the level of community that NFTs have serviced. So, when I say community, it's
like we're all essentially part of a community. If you invest into a company, a stock into a company, like you buy some stocks of Nike or
whatnot that you buy, you are essentially part of their community and then Nike will announce, OK, guys, all the shareholders, this is what we're
doing to innovate our company.
And they're like, oh, this is great. I want to invest more. Oh, I don't like this. I'm going to pull out, right? That's community. And NFTs, that
word community is so important. And it's so transparent.
CHATTERLEY: Now the metaverse is a red-hot topic this year. And the idea of an alternative virtual universe is kind of like Marmite or Vegemite. You
either love it or you hate it. Now Steve Aoki is definitely a lover. So much so he has been performing virtual sets like this one in Fortnite with
a global reach of over 2 billion people.
This is definitely waking you up. I know fans will be loving this including Tanya and Chris on my team. I asked Steve though how Fortnite and Minecraft
paved the road to the metaverse and what comes next. I should warn you there are flashing lights in this interview, too.
AOKI: When you say Minecraft and Fortnite, what that really tells you is generational. And the future is in the youth, the youth are already part of
it. It's part of their conversation, their -- the way they socialize, what they do when they get home from school. It's, you know, Roblox is another
familiar world that kids are jumping into. And socializing and interacting.
And the older, the boomers, you know, the older generation, you know, Facebook is more of a social network, right? And look what Facebook is
doing now. It's finally allowing for everyone else that's part of that world, which a huge majority of the population is to be like, hey, this is
where the future is going. This is where people will be not just socially conversating and engage with each other.
This is where the economy will start transacting money, currency and NFTs where blockchain conversations and spending money in the blockchain through
eth or you know I'm sure bitcoin might jump in or other different blockchain technologies where you spend money in that space will become
And this is the start, and if you get in now, and you start transacting and start doing certain things, and start kind of in a way, you know, you are
crossing the wild, wild, west, right, from the East Coast. I used to play when I was a little kid you know.
And you set up camp and you start building your city and you start like, you know, creating your world. And people really want to join into your
neighborhood in a way. That's kind of like what we're doing you know.
I think the people like me, it's like, oh, wow, I see you're prospecting certain areas and you're like, this will be cool to do this with, you know,
with this kind of concept.
And people love it, they'll join in. Start building more concepts and soon you have, you know, this metaverse city, neighborhood and this junction of
ideas that form with yours and you can build and build economy and build a lifestyle.
CHATTERLEY: You know, I feel like my parents will be watching this going, my generation went out there and lived and to some degree in the past two
years we've all been stuck at home. And to your point as well, it's a generational thing where kids love computer games, so they love playing and
interacting and they've done that now for many years. What does it mean socially?
I mean particularly for you. You're a DJ. You're out there. Nothing surely compares to performing in front of a live audience and having that
interaction. You can also do this digitally and perform on Fortnite to a couple of billion people or at least they can engage with you. What does it
mean for society? Is it a net positive, the sort of virtual metaverse that we're creating relative to engaging face-to-face?
AOKI: Of course, there's nothing that compares to a live concert with real people in front of you.
CHATTERLEY: OK, good. I'm glad.
AOKI: You can't take that away. You just can't take it away. But that's the way the world is going. And I mean, this is how people will socially
interact. It's not -- I think the thing that's scary for people that don't engage in this space is that they're like, oh, no, this is the only way
people interact with each other. That's not the case.
You know, it's like people -- we all need -- we're social species. We always need to be social. This is going to be a large part on how we do it
when we're home. When we go outside and we go to the supermarket, we go to parties or we go do night life, dinners. I mean of course we're going to be
doing that, as we do, as we live our lives.
But I mean, it's clear we are becoming more of a digital -- the way in which we are social is more digital. Just by the fact that we rely so much
on our phones. We rely so much on engaging with people through social media. These things are already setting up where we're going. So, it's, you
know, I like to live in both worlds. And right now, I'm setting up camp in the metaverse.
CHATTERLEY: So, this is the perfect pivot and way to end this conversation. Can we please talk about your mother? Because your mother, I think, is one
of our superfans. I see her on Instagram. She's got the most amazing smile. And I believe you bought her a Tesla which she looked incredibly excited
about. How important is your mom?
AOKI: She's my entire heart. You know, she's my rock. She's pretty much everything for me. You know this is -- I like -- I am a man of the future
so, of course, I get her a Tesla. She's not ready for the self-driving option. She's like, whoa, whoa, no. She's just adorable.
CHATTERLEY: Steve Aoki there. And plenty of room for parental praise and appreciation on this show. I get to hug mine, fingers crossed, for the
first time in two years next week.
More on "FIRST MOVE" after the break.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to the and finally on Facebook. It's been an influential show with Steve Aoki's look into the future. And now, the
future for Elon Musk at Tesla could be less clear, too. Take a look at this tweet.
He says, quote, "thinking of quitting my jobs and becoming an influencer full-time. What do you think?"
Now unlike when asking recently if he should sell Tesla stock, he didn't actually include a vote. Cunning in my mind. And as far what sparked this
tweet, well it remains as one of the many Musk mysteries. Perhaps he was just high on life.
That's it for the show. Stay safe.
"CONNECT THE WORLD" with Becky Anderson is next. Have a great weekend.