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Fareed Zakaria GPS

U.S. Hosts Historic Summit with South Korea and Japan; Afghan Women After Two Years of Taliban Rule; How Russians Feel About the War in Ukraine; Interview with Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired August 20, 2023 - 10:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. Fareed is on assignment but he'll be on later in the show. I'm Bianna Golodryga.


GOLODRYGA: On the program, Tuesday marked two years since the fall of Kabul and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. I talk to that nation's last ambassador to America, Adela Raz, about just how difficult the situation there has become.

ADELA RAZ, FORMER AFGHAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: The restrictions are becoming harder and harder every day, every week and every month.

GOLODRYGA: Then what do Russians really think about Putin's war on Ukraine? Do they think much about it at all? Top "New York Times" journalist Roger Cohen spent a month in Russia seeking answers. He'll tell us what he learned.

Then Fareed sat down with Singapore's deputy prime minister to discuss his city state's unique culture, its outsized role in the world, and how it sees the U.S.-China tensions. We'll bring you that interview.


GOLODRYGA: But first, our top story today. President Biden hosted Japanese Prime Minister Kishida and South Korean President Yoon at Camp David on Friday for a historic summit. The two longtime American allies have had chilly relations with each other in the past, the legacy of Japan's brutal rule in Korea until 1945. But over the last year there has been a thaw in relations with encouragement from the Biden administration.

So what came out of the summit and what does it mean for security as the Asia Pacific faces a rising China and a provocative North Korea?

My guest is Danny Russel. He had a long career in the State Department that culminated during the Obama administration when he was the top official on East Asia Affairs. Today he is vice president for international security and diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

Danny, welcome to the program. Good to see you. So as I mentioned, you can't overstate the historic nature of this summit. Let's talk about what came out of it. One, the expansion of military cooperation such as joint military exercises and new crisis hotline, real time sharing of North Korea missile warning information by the end of this year, in addition an annual summit between the nations, and tighter economic cooperation.

How significant is all of this in your view?

DANNY RUSSEL, VICE PRESIDENT FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND DIPLOMACY, ASIA SOCIETY POLICY INSTITUTE: Well, President Biden summed it up in his press conference with his usual directness by describing it as a big deal and I think that pretty much nails it. The details of the various agreements and the various processes are important. The agreement in principle among the three that they share in effect a common security that a threat or an attack on one implicates the national security of the other.

That's important, too. But there are two other things that I think matter a lot. First of all, this is sort of the tip of the iceberg. Beneath it all is a tremendous amount of interaction, interoperability, inter-cooperation among the governments of the three countries. Each one of these governments is pretty powerful, whether it's militarily, economically, technologically. Combined it's really quite awesome.

And I think the breakthrough between Japan and Korea has opened the door to authentic and sustained cooperation. And that's sort of the second part that by institutionalizing Japan, Korean cooperation in the context of the U.S., both the alliance and technology and economics, I think it creates a framework that will meet that detente which of course we know is fragile. I think it can make more durable, make it possible to weather inevitable changes in administration which happens in democracies.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. No doubt this is a win for President Biden being able to do something that his predecessors have not been able to do but this did take a lot of political courage from both leaders of South Korea and Japan. President Biden said this wasn't about China but clearly that played a pivotal role here in bringing these sides together, China and North Korea.


RUSSEL: And Russia. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has a very powerful ripple effect. Russia, after all, is a neighbor of Japan and Korea as well. Yes, these three things are important drivers of progress among the three democracies, and I think create a geopolitical backdrop that help motivate both the Japanese and the Korean leader.

But as Biden said, and I believe him on this one, this progress may be driven in large part by the growing threat from North Korea, by China's assertive behavior, by Russian aggression, but it's not about them, it's about us. It's about shaping the kind of world that Americans and Koreans and Japanese want to live in. It's not an anti- China coalition.

GOLODRYGA: We have seen an increase in joint military exercises recently between China and Russia, North Korea is advancing its nuclear program, continue testing there. Are you concerned at all that this could be an additional provocation to either one of those countries?

RUSSEL: I see it the other way around, Bianna, honestly, which is that China, Russia and certainly North Korea have made no bones about their strategy and their path. They're moving forward in an aggressive way and they're going to make common cause. Sure, they'll find an excuse and Camp David statement, the declaration is an excuse that they'll point to but it's not going to change or even accelerate their efforts.

What it will change, however, is their ability to actually move beyond tantrums and threats and take provocative or take violent action because it really raises deterrence to a new level.

GOLODRYGA: You mentioned the war in Ukraine and both South Korea and Japan have not only offered more aid and assistance to Ukraine but they've also beefed up their own security spending and defense spending. Japan nearly doubling it, right, to 2 percent. Prime Minister Kishida said at a summit in Singapore last June, quote, "Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow." Is fear over Taiwan becoming the next Ukraine in your view the core motivator here for these two countries?

RUSSEL: It's certainly an important factor. I think it's essential to generate deterrence. And if military planners or political leaders in Beijing look with a hunger at Taiwan and wonder whether maybe they can get away with using military force to subjugate the island, they're going to think harder knowing that Japan and Korea and the United States are so closely aligned politically as well as militarily.

GOLODRYGA: Danny Russel, thank you so much for your time and expertise today. We appreciate it.

RUSSEL: My pleasure.

GOLODRYGA: Up next on GPS, the damage that two years of Taliban rule have done to Afghanistan especially when it comes to women's rights. That important story when we come back.



GOLODRYGA: Tuesday marked two years since Kabul fell and the Taliban seized power. Since then Afghanistan has seen relative peace but its economy has collapsed. The Taliban have also reversed decades of progress on women's rights. They've banned girls from education beyond the sixth grade and women from most jobs in what the U.N. says maybe gender apartheid.

Joining me to discuss is Adel Raz, who was the last Afghan ambassador to the United States. Today she is the director of the Afghanistan Policy Lab at Princeton University.

Adel Raz, thank you so much for joining us today. So since the Taliban's takeover two years ago, they have issued 51 bans against women. Women can't work, women can't go to school, they're banned from public parks, they have closed nail salons, hair salons in the country.

What are you hearing from Afghan women that have remained in the country today? Is there any hope left?

RAZ: Thank you for having me and thank you for bringing this very important topic and discussion in regards to the lives of Afghan women right now in Afghanistan and if they have any hope. Frankly speaking with whoever we speak, it's a very tough situation and especially looking to the outside world and expecting something may change or someone will come in their way to help them out, I think the hope is very limited.

But when it comes internally among themselves, the younger generation, the women inside the country, those who have fought not only in the last two years but of course even over the last 20 years to resist, to move forward and right now to stand against the gender apartheid. I think the hope is really within the people of Afghanistan and within the women of Afghanistan. So I think that's probably the only sparkle of hope.

But anything else, looking forward, if Taliban may change, if their restriction may change, if they may become the new people or the different people, I think that hope does not exist because their restrictions are becoming harder and harder, every day, every week and every month.


GOLODRYGA: Well, to that point, the last time you and I spoke a few months ago, you had predicted and warned really that the future for women could even get worse than they're seeing today. You talked about an incident when you lived under the Taliban as a child where you were slapped and beaten for just eating an ice cream cone.

Why do you think the eradication of women's rights is so integral in how the Taliban views their rule of the country?

RAZ: Sure. They have seen women because in the 20 years ago, they progressed, they developed, they moved forward, they became a political voice inside the country. They did not only stood for their rights but they stood for the rights of Afghans. And today they fear, they fear -- they're very fearful of Afghan women because of their ability, because of their strength. And it's really a political fear.

GOLODRYGA: What do you make of the U.S. engaging in meetings with the Taliban recently just a few weeks ago for the first time in two years, a big shift in U.S. policy, avoiding doing that, given their treatment, specifically of women in the country. The U.S. side seemed to walk away a bit cautiously optimistic. Do you think that the U.S. is right to engage with the Taliban right

now? It sounds like you don't, even though the Taliban is presenting itself as a Taliban 2.0 if you want to call it that.

RAZ: I think with the 2.0 we talked about this last time. It's a new version of how good they've become to speak to the international community and how brutal they have become to their own society. And in terms of the engagement, the question that people of Afghanistan right now is asking, what were the results of those engagements? Do we have a framework for it? Do we have an outcome? Do we have a road map? Do we have a plan? Do we have principles around those engagement?

Because since day one Taliban have arrived, they have become more brutal towards women of Afghanistan and the constant feedback we are receiving is that, well, we're hoping they're going to change the next morning and the next morning, and the prediction that women of Afghanistan are making is they will not change, they will change for the worse. So if the international community, including the U.S., does not have a clear objective of that engagement, if there is not a clear coordination among the international community on how to engage, why to engage, what is the results and what is the outcome, and where do we -- what is our goal?

I think regardless of how many times diplomatic delegations will meet with Taliban the results would be nothing for the people of Afghanistan.

GOLODRYGA: Well, it's notable as we conclude here that Secretary of State Antony Blinken in marking the two years' decision of the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan called it, quote, "an incredibly difficult decision but also the right one." He went on to say that the U.S. has issued nearly 34,000 special immigrant visas to applicants and their family members since the withdrawal, but we know that there are thousands waiting still in limbo.

Adel Raz, thank you so much for your time and for joining us today. Really appreciate it.

RAZ: Thank you for having me.

GOLODRYGA: Well, up next on GPS, I speak to one "New York Times" reporter who just spent a month speaking to people in Russia, from Moscow to Siberia, about the war in Ukraine and Putin's popularity. Hear from him when we come back.



GOLODRYGA: It's exceedingly difficult to gauge public sentiment in Russia, especially about the war in Ukraine. Even though results of the rare reliable pollsters there must be viewed with some skepticism. After all those opposed to the war may not be honest with pollsters as penalties for criticizing the conflict run from harsh fines to jail time. But "New York Times" Paris bureau chief Roger Cohen recently spent a

month in Russia traveling from Moscow to Siberia to the Ukraine border in an attempt to take the pulse of that country. He has a recent book out called "An Affirming Flame: Meditations on Life and Politics," and he joins me now.

Roger, it's great to have you on. A fascinating piece indeed. And your extensive report comes at a time when Russia has increasingly turned into a totalitarian state cracking down on independent journalists after the wrongful detention of "Wall Street Journal" reporter Evan Gershkovich. Many reporters left the country.

I'm just curious, how were you able to spend that much time in Russia and have access to such a variety of Russians while you were there?

ROGER COHEN, PARIS BUREAU CHIEF, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, Bianna, it began with the surprise, the surprise was that Russia gave me a visa. I did not expect that to happen. And we've had many people applying for visas and not getting them. Why Russia chose to do that, I do not know. Once I was there, I was able to meet people in Moscow without having the impression that I was being followed.

I mean, they knew I was there and I'm sure they were keeping an eye on me. Out in Siberia, it was a more intense form of scrutiny and that the FSB security service would make their presence felt when, for example, I would visit cemeteries to see the graves of young soldiers killed in Ukraine. In general, though, I had access to people and was able to speak to them and encountered a wide spectrum of opinion.

GOLODRYGA: Well, it's so help for you to have had that access because a year and a half into this war, it's still very difficult to gauge how Russians feel about it. I mentioned those polls, even independent polls like the Levada Center you have to take with a grain of salt because when you're an authoritarian state like Russia has become, it's very hard for these people to give honest assessments.

Were you able to leave the country with a clear sense of how Russians felt overall in terms of what you call Putin's forever war?


COHEN: I think so. Certainly a lot more of a sense than when I went there. I'm pretty old school, Bianna. I believe there's no substitute for boots on the ground, there's no substitute for looking somebody in the eye, there's no substitute for meeting people in their homes, at their work, wherever, and I was able to do that. As I said the spectrum of opinion is pretty wide. There's a solid core of support for President Putin. That's not surprising given the volume of state propaganda cascading out over the air every night.

At the same time I met people who denounce the war, who felt that the declaration of war against Ukraine, the invasion of February of last year, was not normal in the words of one opponent of the war that I spoke to. He could not explain to himself why President Putin had done this other than to rally the country yet again. He's done this through successive wars in Chechnya and Georgia and elsewhere. Other than to rally the country to his side with a presidential

election, and the election I think should be in quotes probably, coming up in March of next year.

GOLODRYGA: We'll talk about the election in a moment and I really was surprised to see people willing to give you their names and go to such great lengths to denounce the war at this time. That really requires a lot of bravery.

It is worth noting in terms of how Russians feel about this war, we mentioned the Levada Center polling, one of the most reliable, the only independent pollsters there left in the country, and here's what they came out with just recently. As of June only 20 percent of Russians closely follow the war in Ukraine. That is the lowest percentage since the war began. Clearly this benefits the Kremlin in your view.

COHEN: President Putin, Bianna, has gone to immense lengths to try to make the war as invisible as possible. This was one of the most fascinating aspects of my journey. When you're in Moscow, apart from the billboards seeking recruits for the war, when I was there also for the Wagner mercenaries, apart from that there is really no sign of the war. The restaurants are full, the city is functioning, everything seems to work. People are sitting in cafes enjoying themselves.

And what President Putin has done is he -- and that's why I went to Siberia, is that he has tried to concentrate recruitment in remote areas of Russia. Where I was in Ulan-Ude is 3,500 miles from the front. Yet the war is much more present there than it is in Moscow, in all those graves with freshly turned earth and the faces of dread that I saw at the airport of young soldiers beginning the journey toward Ukraine with their tearful families around them.

And what he is doing, President Putin, is offering contracts of $2,500 or more a month to people whose salaries generally speaking are more in the $400, $500 a month range. So he's buying people to go fight and die. And the 20 percent number you cited just reflects the fact that he has been able to keep the war at a distance. And there are just a lot of Russians who feel they have to get on with their lives, try to get by and are tired of it.

The headline was the forever war. And I think one of the things the West may have to come to terms with in the coming months is that this is going to be a very long conflict. That the counteroffensive on the Ukrainian side is not probably going to resolve anything in any decisive manner, and that we could have some form of frozen conflict such as President Putin managed to contrive in Georgia.

Now the question then remains of what such a frozen conflict -- whom such a frozen conflict would favor but I think it's soon anyway that barring a surprise that the West is going to have to start thinking about that question very deeply.

GOLODRYGA: Roger Cohen, it's so wonderful to have you on and your perspective, so important to have had you on the ground there getting all the reporting that you did. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.

COHEN: Thank you very much, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Well, up next on GPS, Fareed will be back. He's been in Singapore this week and sent back a fascinating interview with the city state's deputy prime minister. You won't want to miss it.



ZAKARIA: Thanks to Bianna for tackling the top of the show so well. I want to tell you what I've been doing this week. I spent the week in Singapore, the city state at the southern tip of Malaysia. It maybe pocket-size but it punches way above its weight especially economically.

When it gained independence as a relatively poor country 58 years ago Singapore's GDP was a third the size of Malaysia's. Today's Singapore has a larger GDP than Malaysia despite having one-sixth of its population. And Singapore's per capita GDP now ranks 10th in the world at almost $83,000. America's by comparison is just over $76,000.

Now it's not without its problems and critics amongst other issues it has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Freedom House rates it as only 47 out of 100 or partly free on its freedom index. And scandals have recently rocked the ruling PAP party.

I had the opportunity to talk this week about the future of Singapore with the man who is the presumptive next prime minister, Lawrence Wong, the current deputy prime minister. If he gets the top job, he will be only the second person to lead the city state who doesn't have the surname Lee.


Lee Kuan Yew founded Singapore and his Lee Hsien Loong is the current prime minister.


ZAKARIA: Thank you so much. It is a great pleasure and honor to be back in Singapore, particularly on the year that marks Lee Kuan Yew's centenary.

When Lee Kuan Yew would talk to me about what he was most proud about about Singapore he often said that people focus on the great economic success. And that to him that -- in a sense forgot something that was even more impressive, which was the building of a nation out of a polyglot community of Chinese, Malay, Indians on the sandbar at the edge of Malaysia when Singapore was expelled from it.

Around the world a lot of places we are seeing a return to a kind of tribalism which has -- causing tensions in various places, in the West and in the East. Do you feel like that is a problem that Singapore has to deal with or have you dealt with that problem well enough that you don't see those dangers or those tensions?

LAWRENCE WONG, SINGAPOREAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: It's a work in progress. I would say we have not arrived but we have come a long way. Quite remarkable for such a short period of time.

We started on this basis that to become a Singaporean, you do not have to give up your ethnic identity. You can be Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian, whatever backgrounds. But when you become a Singaporean, you add to your traditions, your cultures. So, we tried very hard to create a society where every ethnic group, no matter how small you are, will always have a place.

We encourage them to -- every group to maintain, to retain their traditions, retain their cultures and celebrate those. But at the same time, we enlarge the common space we have as Singaporeans. We build that common sense of being Singaporean together. And in the last 58 years, that sense of being Singaporean has grown and strengthened. But it is a work in progress.

ZAKARIA: Now the PAP, your party, has had a remarkable record of success, electoral success. There are many people who feel that you have unfair advantages but you have faced some pressures recently. There have been scandals, some of it surrounding corruption. What did you learn about the various scandals and problems?

WONG: I would say -- you know, thinking about not just the recent incidents but also the broader experience I've had in government, I've learned to have a certain sense of equanimity in government. When things go right, when things go well for us, when people praise us and say we are number one, we are gold standard, don't let that go into our heads. But at the same time when there are challenges and when there are setbacks, and there are bound to the setbacks. Nothing is smooth sailing. There are bound to be mistakes.

Like in the last three years when we went through COVID, we had our fair share of setbacks. Or more recently when we have had these setbacks then we learn from the setbacks. We learn from the challenges. And in fact, very often it's the mistakes and the failures -- it's in the mistakes and the failures where we find greater motivation to learn and to do better. And that's the attitude I take.

ZAKARIA: When you look at the world economy, Singapore has always been able to navigate the world economy very well. What does -- when you look at it today, does it look like an attractive picture?

WONG: We are very worried about the trends. We are worried about how the global multi-lateral trading system is coming under siege. There is a change in the global consensus around free trade and win-win economic cooperation.

The logic of interdependence used to prevail. People say you didn't -- countries didn't have to be friends to do business with one another. In fact, we promoted interdependence for greater stability.

People talked about the McDonald's theory of peace. The Germans talked about change through trade. Now interdependence has become a bad word. People worry about interdependence creating vulnerabilities and that interdependence will become weaponized. But I think we are at risk of shifting to the other extreme because with countries having fewer stakes in one another's success, I think, there will be less inhibitions to act unilaterally.


And it may even embolden states to take more aggressive actions. So, we really need to think hard about how we continue to strengthen our system of trade, investments, interdependence while addressing legitimate security concerns that countries may have.


ZAKARIA: When we come back, I will ask Deputy Prime Minister Wong what he plans to do about the growing tension between the United States and China because Singapore is caught right between them.


ZAKARIA: And we are back now with more of my interview with Singapore's presumptive next leader Lawrence Wong. I spoke to him at the National University of Singapore earlier this week.



ZAKARIA: When you look at it geopolitically, under Xi Jinping China has been much more aggressive, particularly with its neighbors. So, the policies towards Australia, for example, the so-called 14 demands where the Chinese government essentially asked the Australians' government to stop doing certain things, including to have its think tanks and its newspapers not print anti-Chinese things, the clash in the borders with India, some of the claims with Vietnam and the Philippines and the South China Seas. Do you think that -- what do you think explains that and do you think there has been a course correction there?

WONG: The Chinese talk about three phases in their journey. They want to stand up, get rich, get strong. I think they are in the get strong phase of their journey. And when you're a strong country, you want to assert your interests, whether it's claims in the South China Sea that you feel is yours, whether it's interests that you feel, you know, are infringed upon by another state then you assert your interest, and that's what China has been doing.

But in the cause of doing so, I think, they also understand that there will be a reaction from other countries. And again, there they will have to find their balance in going about this.

ZAKARIA: Do you think that they have -- they have looked at -- do you think they got more pushback than they expected?

WONG: They certainly got a strong pushback from the U.S. And so, what America has done now is going to be the big issue in the world. This new relationship -- the new defining feature of U.S.-China relationship is no longer one of engagement but one of strategic competition. People say it's full spectrum strategic competition but it's really extreme competition.

And what we worry about is what can go wrong in this dynamic. Because one country does something, the other country can retaliate and you create a tit for tat dynamic that can result for huge costs for both America and China and a lot of trouble for the rest of us in the world.

ZAKARIA: So, the biggest flash point of course is Taiwan. Do you think things have gotten more dangerous with regard to Taiwan in the last few months?

WONG: Sure, they have. All sites claim to uphold a status quo but tensions are high and continuing to rise. It does not help that, I think, some parties portray Taiwan as an issue of ideological contest between democracy and autocracy. Or that, you know, there are people who draw a parallel with Ukraine and you've got media headlines saying, Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow. I think these are very dangerous and these are alarming.

But what we hope is that all parties will exercise restraint and maintain the status quo. It's important to continue engagement, to continue diplomacy. Diplomacy as we are always reminded does not operate in a linear fashion. It's not a straight line. It curves and bends.

But we have to talk if there are issues which are irreconcilable. Sometimes the wiser thing to do is not to force a resolution immediately but to set these issues aside and focus on the issues of common interests. And hopefully U.S. and China can do so.

ZAKARIA: When you look at the Taiwan situation do you think that Xi Jinping, as many people say, is determined to -- as one of -- part of his achievements -- of his accomplishments to achieve a forcible reunification of Taiwan in the next five, 10 years?

WONG: I don't think that's the basic expectation at all. Not a forceable reunification. Taiwan is to China a very important matter because it is to China the reddest of red lines. It is about sovereignty.

You can talk about economics with China. You can talk about trade. You can talk about chips. You can talk about intellectual property. But one China, that's nonnegotiable because it's a matter of sovereignty.

And I'm sure this applies to many other countries. But neither is it their objective to reunify Taiwan through forceable means. Certainly not in the way that has been portrayed in the media.

ZAKARIA: You have a very strong security relationship with the United States.

[10:50:04] And you do a massive amount of economic business with China. If those countries were to tell you that Singapore has to choose between America and China, what would you say?

WONG: If it ever were to come to that, it's not just Singapore that's going to be affected, it's the whole world and we better buckle our seat belts if it were to come to that. Because, you know, this is not like in the Cold War where you had the Soviet Union and you had two systems, you can operate two systems. China's sheer size and scale today is much larger than the Soviet Union was and it's embedded deeply in the global economy today.

If countries, not just Singapore, countries everywhere have to say, look, I either choose a Chinese system or a U.S. system for everything, not just for high tech, but for everything, I think it would be disastrous for all of us.

ZAKARIA: So, you're hoping you won't have to make that choice?

WONG: I'm hoping for the good of the world that we don't have to make that choice.


ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, I bring you a preview of my special hour you will not want to miss, "ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ITS PROMISE AND PERIL" when we come back.



ZAKARIA: And now for the last look. It seems that every day there's a new warning about artificial intelligence. The fears range from misinformation to military misuse all the way to mass extinction. But on the flip side, the technology promises to better diagnose our ailments, to reduce human errors, to increase efficiency --


HUMANOID ROBOT: I have 32 degrees of freedom and can detect sounds.


ZAKARIA: -- and dazzle us in many other ways. So, what should we make of this A.I. revolution? Next Sunday, I'll delve into this topic with a new special, "ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ITS PROMISE AND PERIL."

We'll discuss both the scary and the exciting elements of A.I. starting with the former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt. We'll sit down with the man known as the godfather of A.I. who left a top tech job so he could talk freely about its threats. I talked to the great film director James Cameron about how he harnesses A.I. in his movies and we will even look at the use of A.I. in art.

Take, for example, this piece called "Unsupervised." It is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The artist, Refik Anadol, trained an A.I. model using data from more than 200 years' worth of the museum's art collection, which included nearly 90,000 works of art from over 26,000 artists.

The machine is always learning and imagining new artworks. If you watched for a hundred years, you would not see the same screen twice. I sat down with Anadol and the museum's curator of paintings and sculpture, Michelle Kuo, to discuss this extraordinary work. Here is a piece of that conversation.


ZAKARIA: Tell us a little bit about how you trained it.

REFIK ANADOL, DIRECTOR, REFIK ANADOL STUDIO: There is actually a super computer behind this wall. So, there's like literally two computers. One is literally preparing our next dream while the current one is showing us a new dream that we are witnessing. And these two machines is trained in a way that their decisions are also interacted by a camera and a microphone, and the weather conditions.

A rainy day is a different day for us and also for A.I. It's a loud day. It's a calm day. It is a morning -- or the morning students come or maybe late afternoon people are more calm and serene and focused and meditative. These all states of like are wondering --

ZAKARIA: So, this data is being fed --


ZAKARIA: It's not a closed loop. It's not just a painting.

ANADOL: No. Exactly. And there's a dialogue between human and machine too.

ZAKARIA: You know, the way that A.I. normally is trained is the human says, that's a good answer, that's a bad answer.

ANADOL: Yes. This doesn't happen here.

ZAKARIA: Why is it not sharing representational works? I mean, you have some great early Picasso, the Blue Period. How come that's not -- it feels like it's all abstraction.



KUO: -- get very photographic. So, if you watch, you will see moments where it literally looks like a photographic landscape or an architectural drawing or a face may emerge.

ZAKARIA: Interesting.

KUO: What's interesting you'll notice different modes and Refik I think has carefully choreographed and composed them. But these different modes are special because with generative A.I. -- first of all, Refik is choosing the data set which is a huge step. It's not just using everything that's out there as other kinds of machine learning models are doing right now.

And the other thing that Refik is doing is basically working very, very hard in concert with the machine learning model to create the shapes that you see. You might just get noise if you were to yourself say, here's a generative A.I., I'm just going to plug all this information into it. You might get stuff that doesn't make any sense or is chaotic or doesn't visually resolve into anything. So, that to me is what is so sort of mind-blowing about what you're doing.

ZAKARIA: Do you think that all artists in the future are going to have to know some degree of A.I.?

ANADOL: I mean, that's a very beautiful visual thinking. But, I think, I hope everyone have an understanding of what A.I. is because it's beyond the art. It's for humanity. It's a powerful technology.


And I think in the human history we never have something powerful and has the imagination and the thinking, intelligent capacity before. And, I think, one of the reasons we demystify our old projects like this is to be sure everyone has an equal access to this knowledge so we have a safe and secure humanity journey with this technology.


ZAKARIA: Watch "ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ITS PROMISE AND PERIL" next Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. And thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.