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Quest Means Business
Deal To Raise Limit Faces First Big Test In Congress; Theranos CEO Begins 11-Year Term For Defrauding Investors; A New Space Race; Tech Leaders Warn Of "Extinction" Risk From AI; Quest's World Of Wonder: Tokyo; Dash To The Bell. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 30, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: All right, let's take a look here. Stocks moving lower this afternoon. The Dow is down around about a hundred
points or so. Those are the markets and these are the main events.
A major test for the US deal to raise the debt ceiling is underway right now. A key congressional committee is set to vote any minute. We'll bring
the voting to you live.
Also AI researchers warn that artificial intelligence represents a threat as serious as nuclear war.
And Elizabeth Holmes reports to start her prison sentence in Texas.
Coming to you live from New York, it is Tuesday, May 30th. I'm Zain Asher in for Richard Quest and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
The bipartisan deal to raise the US debt ceiling is facing its first big test in Congress. The House Rules Committee is about to begin considering
the bill. This step is normally a rubber stamp for the House leadership. However, Kevin McCarthy named three hardline conservatives to the panel in
January as part of his bid to win the speakership that could complicate things over the next hour or so.
Two of them are members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of far-right Republicans who oppose the deal, and they are threatening to oust McCarthy
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): At the end of the day, the only person that would default in this town is Joe Biden, unless Republicans default on the
American Dream by voting for this bad bill.
That is why this group will oppose it. We will continue to fight it today, tomorrow, and no matter what happens, there is going to be a reckoning
about what just occurred unless we stop this bill by tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: White House correspondent, Jeremy Diamond joins us live now.
So Jeremy, Chip Roy -- Representative Chip Roy making his stance very clear, that -- just walk us through what's expected to happen today. From
experts that I've been speaking to, it looks as though it will pass albeit narrowly. What are your thoughts?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, he expressed confidence that he believes that he has
the votes to get this through the Rules Committee, but this certainly is the first major test of this compromise debt ceiling bill, and it is also a
major test for the speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.
And the main reason for that is because of the terms that Speaker McCarthy agreed to, for this Congress in order to become speaker, and that is that
he agreed to lower the threshold that just one member of Congress could come forward and call for a motion to vacate, a motion that could
potentially see McCarthy lose his speakership.
And so that is now what Kevin McCarthy is up against. The first test here is going to be on the debt ceiling bill, specifically. He has expressed
confidence that he believes he can get through it and ultimately get this bill to a vote on the House floor.
The next test is going to be what happens if the members of the House Freedom Caucus, those hardline conservatives, who are vowing to oppose this
bill, if they fail to do so, what is there a next step, and we've already heard from Congressman Dan Bishop, one of those hardline conservative
members of the House Freedom Caucus, who has said that if they fail to stop this debt ceiling bill, the next step that he is going to turn to, the next
fight he is going to turn to is going to be over Kevin McCarthy's speakership.
The other thing that we're watching for here is to see once this passes the Rules Committee, if indeed it does, how many votes can Kevin McCarthy
actually deliver? Because it appears that he told Democrats and the White House that he believes he could pull as many as 150 votes from the
So far, it's not clear if that's possible, he is still expressing confidence that he can get a majority of Republicans to vote for this bill,
but we are already seeing this quite stiff opposition from the House Freedom Caucus and some other Republicans like Congresswoman Nancy Mace who
is likely expected to be a yes vote on this coming out and saying that she won't vote for this.
So there are a lot of challenges that McCarthy is going to face going forward. And of course, the question is then if he can't deliver as many
votes as he has promised, how many votes can the House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and the White House cobble together from the Democratic
Caucus to ensure that this bill passes and that ultimately the country avoids default.
ASHER: Yes, and ultimately, they need Democrats here, especially in the House. We always knew that the House Freedom Caucus would pose stiff
opposition. Do they have the votes needed on the Democratic side at least to avoid default?
DIAMOND: Well, there are some -- it depends how many, right? Like that's the question ultimately is how many Democrats are going to need to make up
for the loss of support on the Republican side, and right now, it is not exactly clear what that number is.
There are some positive signs in terms of getting more Democratic votes. Yesterday, the head of the new Democratic coalition, a group of nearly a
hundred moderate Democrats, she endorsed this bill and is rallying her members to come and support it.
So there certainly will be some moderate Democrats who are going to support this. The progressives are already expressing fierce skepticism about this,
but what progressives certainly aren't doing is trying to torpedo this bill in the same way that the House Freedom Caucus on the right side of the
aisle is currently trying to do.
But we know that President Biden, he has been engaged on this issue. He is making calls personally to members of Congress to try and get them to vote
for this bill. And we know that the White House has engaged in a pretty fierce lobbying effort over the course of the previous 24 hours.
We heard that they had made more than 60 one-on-one calls to House Democratic lawmakers, with the White House chief-of-staff and others making
those calls and they've also provided a lot of briefing to Democratic members to show them everything that is in this bill, but also to focus on
what is not in this bill, and that is one of the main ways that the White House has been selling this by talking about the Democratic priorities that
they were able to protect, the fact that there are no cuts, for example, to the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act in this compromise
That is really where they have focused their efforts in terms of trying to sell Democrats on the fact that they believe this is a good deal at the end
of the day.
ASHER: All right, we will see what happens in the Rules Committee.
Jeremy Diamond, live for us there. Thank you so much.
All right. Elizabeth Holmes is now behind bars capping off a stunning downfall for the founder of the failed blood testing startup, Theranos.
Holmes reported to a federal prison in Bryan, Texas a few hours ago. She is starting an 11-year sentence. The tech executive was once a darling of
Her story began to unravel when a "Wall Street Journal" investigation revealed flaws in Theranos' technology. In November, she was convicted on
multiple charges of defrauding investors.
CNN correspondent, Rosa Flores joins us live outside that federal prison camp in Bryan, Texas.
So, Rosa, we've said this many times here. This is a dramatic fall from grace for Elizabeth Holmes. So just in terms of her appeals process.
Obviously, she is reporting to federal prison today, but she hasn't fully exhausted her appeals process. Just walk us through whether she can still
appeal even if she's doing it from prison.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, she has tried to delay her surrender date already, and that didn't work. So what the judge decided at
that point in time, and this was just a few weeks ago was that her request to be free on bail while she tries to overturn her conviction was denied.
That's why the surrender date was set for May 30th by her attorneys. That's why we're here.
Now, she surrendered to the facility that you see behind me and if you look closely, there is no barbed wire. This is a minimum security facility for
female inmates and the population is just over 600.
ELIZABETH HOLMES, FOUNDER, THERANOS: I believe the individual is the answer to the challenges of health care.
FLORES (voice over): Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Theranos is set to trade in her trademark black turtlenecks for a prison jumpsuit after
multiple failed appeals to keep her out of prison.
Holmes, now a mother of two is set to report to the federal prison camp in Bryan, Texas today. The minimum security women's prison is approximately
100 miles from Houston, Texas, and houses more than 600 inmates according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
HOLMES: The right to protect the health and wellbeing of every person, of those we love is a basic human right.
FLORES (voice over): Holmes was only 19-years-old when she dropped out of Stanford University to pursue her startup, Theranos, fulltime.
Once valued at $9 billion dollars, at its peak, Theranos attracted an impressive list of investors and retail partners with claims that it had
developed technology to test for a wide range of medical conditions using just a few drops of blood.
HOLMES: So these are the little tubes that we collect the samples in, we call them the nanotainer. They're about this big.
FLORES (voice over): Holmes, appearing on magazine covers and was hailed as the next Steve Jobs.
HOLMES: I've always believed that the purpose of building a business is to make an impact in the world.
FLORES (voice over): The company began to unravel after a "Wall Street Journal" investigation in 2015 reported that Theranos had only ever
performed roughly a dozen of the hundreds of tests it offered using its proprietary technology and with questionable accuracy.
Investors and retail partners backed out and in June of 2018, Holmes pleaded not guilty. Ultimately, she was indicted for fraud before being
convicted last year.
(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DROPOUT" PLAYS.)
FLORES (voice over): Her rise and fall depicted in the head Hulu show the "Dropout."
(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DROPOUT" PLAYS.)
FLORES (voice over): Despite her conviction, Holmes told "The New York Times" that she plans to work on healthcare-related inventions behind bars:
"I still dream about being able to contribute in that space."
FLORES (on camera): So what will her life be like inside this federal facility that you see behind me? What we know about that is from an 82-page
inmate handbook that is available to the public. It states that once an individual is admitted into this facility, they go through social and
medical screenings before they're assigned to a unit.
It also says that inmates must maintain a job, that they are paid between 12 and 40 cents. It is unclear if that's per hour, I'm assuming that that
is per hour.
It also states that inmates who first enter into the facility are usually assigned to the food service area.
Now Zain, there are a lot more details in his 82-page document that will -- that pretty much outline what her life will be like. For example, she will
also have to wake up at six o'clock every morning. She will have to make her bed, mop her own floor, take out her own trash, et cetera et cetera et
Again, today is the day that Elizabeth Holmes turned herself into federal authorities and she starts facing her 11-year sentence -- Zain.
ASHER: Unbelievable. Surreal, in fact.
I remember when she was pretty much a household name 10 years ago and everybody was talking about her and it's just -- it is amazing to see this
All right, Rosa Flores, live for us there. Thank you so much.
Drone strikes target the Russian capital, but as the war in Ukraine comes home to Moscow, Russia is fighting back. Details on that next on QUEST
ASHER: China says its three astronauts have successfully docked with the country's space station. For the first time ever, the crew includes a
China is looking to become the world leader in space. Its plans for the next several decades include solar power beamed down to Earth from orbit in
2028 and a lunar research station by 2036.
Will Ripley has more.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With the launch of the Shenzhou-16 mission and the first ever civilian astronaut in China, the
space race is certainly on, and on pretty quickly when it comes to China's development of their space program.
Remember, it was back in 2011, more than 10 years ago that the United States essentially banned cooperation with the Chinese without FBI approval
because there were concerns that China was going to militarize the technology shared with other countries at the International Space Station.
And yet, now, China has built its own space station, and will have a permanent human presence in space potentially even longer than the ISS,
which is due to retire within the decade long period that China says its own station will remain in low Earth orbit.
This is the fifth manned space mission for China since 2021, and for the first time, a civilian will be one of the rotating astronauts who
previously had all been members of the People's Liberation Army. This will be a five-month stint.
There are three astronauts on board. The civilian is a professor at a prestigious aeronautics university in China who pursued post-doctoral
studies in Canada.
As I mentioned, though, all others do have a military background like other Chinese astronauts. This civilian astronaut, also making headlines in
China, certainly on social media, at least because he wears glasses. It's the first time that an astronaut without perfect 20/20 vision in China has
been allowed up into space. Of course, NASA also allows astronauts with glasses to participate as well.
Since 2016, China has made dozens of space cooperation agreements with other countries and that is certainly expected to continue, especially now
that China will have this space station and a permanent human presence in outer space where there'll be conducting experiments.
But China's space ambitions don't stop here. They want to put a base at the southern tip of the moon, for example, put a telescope there with 300 times
the field of view of the Hubble Space Telescope. They want to collect samples from Mars, and they want to do these things with deadlines that in
some cases, or even earlier than NASA or the European Space Agency.
So clearly, the space race, China is in it and they say they are in it to stay.
Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.
ASHER: Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine came home to Moscow today. A wave of drone strikes targeting the Russian capital in the early hours of the
morning. Russian state media said debris from drones caused damage to two apartment buildings and wounded two people.
Some of the drones reportedly hit or flew over a Moscow suburb that's home to many of Russia's political and economic elite, and it's quite close to
Mr. Putin's main residence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Kyiv chose the path of intimidation of Russian citizens and attacks on residential buildings.
It is a clear sign of terrorist activity.
The Moscow air defense system worked satisfactorily however, there is still work to be done to make it better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: CNN senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley has more.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Same war, different capital, Moscow hit by a squadron of eight drones.
PAVEL BOZHGO, MOSCOW RESIDENT (through translator): There was definitely a bang as if a huge bolt of lightning had struck somewhere near.
KILEY (voice over): The attack was immediately blamed on Ukraine, which reels daily from Russian air assaults.
SERGEI SHOIGU, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): This morning, the Kyiv regime carried out a terrorist attack on the Moscow region and I
will stress, aimed at civilian targets. In total, eight airplane-type drones were used, all of them were brought down.
KILEY (voice over): Kyiv was coy about its role in this drastic escalation.
MYKHAILO PODOLYAK, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER (through translator): Of course, we enjoy watching and predicting an increase in attacks. But of
course, we have nothing to do directly with it.
What is growing in Russia is the karmic payment that Russia will gradually pay more highly for everything it does in Ukraine.
KILEY (voice over): Ukraine is threatening an offensive to drive Russian troops out. Part of its tactics have been increased efforts to destabilize
Across border raid by anti-Putin Russian dissidents was backed by Ukraine last week. Frequent attacks on Russian occupied logistic hubs like Mariupol
Berdyansk, and now, there is a mysterious drone attack that Russia has blamed on Ukraine.
PUTIN (through translator): Though I'm more worried not by this, but by efforts to provoke a Russian response, that appears to be the aim. They are
provoking us to do the same.
KILEY (voice over): But this is the first drone attack by anyone on Moscow outside the Kremlin.
Here, Kyiv attacked for the 17th time this month.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)
KILEY (voice over): Putin's generals now know that they face attacks on Ukraine's frontlines, and at home.
ASHER: And Sam Kiley joins me live now from eastern Ukraine. So Sam, as you pointed out in your piece, Russia, is blaming Kyiv for these drone attacks
in Moscow. Just explain to us how Putin is going to use these attacks to justify the war in Ukraine, and also what sort of retaliation we can expect
KILEY: Well, I think, Zain, it doesn't need any justification for the war in Ukraine. That may not stop him using this, talking of wanting to punish
what he called terrorist attacks.
There's also been a civilian, according to the local governor of Belgorod inside Russia killed today, in Ukrainian shelling, he alleges. So what
you've got here, though, is an opportunity that the Russians no doubt will take pointing the finger of attacks on civilians, which has been a
characteristic of their campaign here in Ukraine.
The Ukrainians have been obviously drawing attention to it, indeed, Vladimir Putin, facing indictment at the International Criminal Court over
it. So they can now turn back and say, well, now the Ukrainians are attacking civilians as part of their argument that they are dealing with a
regime that they claim is both Nazi and out of control.
Of course, this is a government run by somebody who is of Jewish descent. So peculiar allegations made originally to try to invade Ukraine.
But I think that this really should be seen as part of the ongoing softening up process, and a sign that the Ukrainians are not shy about
attacking now inside Russia.
We've seen those raids in the past by Russian dissidents backed by Ukraine. We've got these mysterious drone attacks on Moscow itself that the
Ukrainian government says they have no direct role in, but may well, therefore suggest having an indirect role. All of this adding up to
warnings to the Russians, that they won't be able to keep the war just inside Ukraine -- Zain.
ASHER: Sam Kiley, live for us there. Thank you so much.
Passengers aboard a Carnival cruise ships say a heavy storm this weekend had them fearing for their lives. Video taken on the Carnival Sunshine
looks like a scene from the movie, "Titanic."
You can actually see the corridor there filled with water, filled with debris. Carnival says that rough seas delayed the ship's return to South
Passenger, Bill Hassler says the ship should have waited in the Bahamas. He told "CNN This Morning," the cruise line put its passengers in danger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL HASSLER, PASSENGER ON CARNIVAL SUNSHINE: I don't even think the crew knew what they were doing. I don't think they were trained enough for a
situation like that.
They were actually, at one point, scavenging to get the life boats ready to throw us out into the sea with 40-plus foot waves. I don't even know how
you would even get in the lifeboat.
If that thing went down, we were all dead. Yes.
At one point, a wave hit my window. It broke my window and water was coming in.
At one point, a wave hit my window and broke my window and water was coming in.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Coming into the boat and into your stateroom?
HILL: What did you do at that point?
HASSLER: Put on my life preserver.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: You did?
HASSLER: Yes. I actually fell asleep at one point for a little while with my life preserver on.
HARLOW: You heard us read Carnival's statement? I wonder if you want something else from them? I mean, it sounds like you're very concerned that
preparations weren't made and safety wasn't prioritized.
HASSLER: They shouldn't have went through a storm and they need to be held accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Frightening stuff there.
All right, it was a holiday weekend in the US and UK and it marks an incredibly strong start to the summer travel season.
In the US, Air Travel surpassed pre-pandemic levels with 12.4 million people screened by security.
As for the roads, Flixbus which owns Greyhound says Memorial Day bookings were up 70 percent from last year the company says bus travel is enjoying a
surge in popularity.
Flixbus operates in more than 35 countries and has had more than 60 million passengers last year.
Andre Schwammlein is the CEO of Flixbus. He joins us live now from Munich.
Andre, thank you so much for being with us. Just walk us through why? Why do you think there has been a major surge just in terms of bus travel? Is
it partly because of the pent up demand that was suppressed during the pandemic now being allowed to increase?
ANDRE SCHWAMMLEIN, CEO, FLIXBUS: I think it is a couple of things. On the one hand, obviously people want to travel, yes, that's totally true and
that's true across the globe, so we see it in all of our markets.
But it's also fuel prices have gone up, so individual mobility is getting more expensive. Air traffic is getting more expensive.
So affordable, collective transport, like buses, are important for people with a bit smaller budget. And therefore, I think this is one of the main
reasons why in the current times, there is more and more demand for bus travel.
ASHER: When you think about the fact that travel around Memorial Day weekend was up 70 percent or so, what does that tell you about what demand
can be -- will be like during the busy summer travel season?
SCHWAMMLEIN: For us, it's great to see that bus has come back. And I mean, what we see at the moment, it's tough to get all the buses on the street
that we would need for the demand. So we are really looking for capacity also for the summer, because we anticipate that summer is going to be a
very, very strong travel season.
And I mean, inflation is still high, so we will need affordable options. And therefore, I think it's a great time for us to show that we are there
for the community and that we can serve for travel also in the summer.
ASHER: Yes, speaking of inflation, how has inflation affected your bottom line? I mean, you pointed out that the rising prices of air travel has
meant that people have flocked to your business, they flock to buses more as an option at least to travel regionally, but how has inflation affected
your bottom line now?
SCHWAMMLEIN: Absolutely, inflation has an impact. I mean, we run on fuel, so fuel prices are relevant for us. But the important part is, we have an
alternative towards the private car. And therefore in a time of high inflation, it's a good time for a bus to show that we are an affordable
option and maybe the people will travel from New York to Boston with a car now opt rather for a bus and this is something that we see additional
demand in times of high inflation and when budgets are getting a bit smaller.
ASHER: And how much has inflation forced you to also raise your prices as well?
SCHWAMMLEIN: Our ambition is that we stay the most affordable option to travel. And obviously we have to pass through some inflation through fuel,
we see that now relaxing, and therefore our ambition will be to, in the upcoming years, stay this most affordable option to travel. And therefore,
if at all, we want to really stay below inflation, if that's possible.
But obviously, we represent even with a bit of inflation, the most affordable option to travel at the moment.
ASHER: So as your incredible success in 2022 last year, really made it a priority for you to expand internationally? And just walk us through which
countries are on the top of your list, which markets are priority?
SCHWAMMLEIN: I mean Flix is now a market leader in Europe where we are origined. On the other hand, also in North America with Greyhound, we are
the clear market leader in the US, Canada and then also branching out towards Mexico and also in Turkey. So in Turkey, we are very active.
So this is our core markets, which are profitable and they are growing and the strong demand that we see now also this year. So not only 2022 but also
into 2023, we see very strong demand for us to grow in the historical big bus markets which are in Latin America, in South America, like we started
Brazil. We will start now Chile, which is an attractive market and we just recently announced that it will start India, which is possibly the largest
bus market on Earth.
So yes, the use the momentum that we see and the strong numbers of our profitable growth to expand globally, really build a global platform for
sustainable and affordable travel.
ASHER: All right, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
SCHWAMMLEIN: Thank you.
ASHER: All right, pressure to regulate AI is growing. We'll hear about the stark warning signed by some of tech's biggest names, next.
ASHER: Some of the leading figures in AI say that it threatens humanity with extinction. Hundreds of scientists and tech experts have signed a
statement at the center for AI high safety.
It includes Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI; Geoffrey Hinton, who's known as the godfather of AI; as well as top AI executives from Google and
Microsoft. The statement says litigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority, alongside other societal scale risks, such as
pandemics and nuclear war.
Anna Stewart is joining us now live from London.
Anna, I think what's so scary about this and one of the reasons why this threat is being taken so seriously about AI and the risk it poses to
humanity when it comes to extinction, is how many people who signed this letter who actually know what they're talking about. That is the scary
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is. This is a who's who of artificial intelligence. These are the people that have created it, who
have developed it, who hope to make lots and lots of money from it. They are pretty much all signees of this list. The CEOs of DeepMind, of OpenAI,
pioneers like Geoffrey Hinton of course, we've already heard warnings from.
And it's a really interesting concept, that they're getting together and they're warning about this. And their warnings are really quite broad. So
it's not just the issue maybe of extinction but all of the risks that AI currently poses that need to be addressed and need to be addressed really
by the whole sector and perhaps by regulators as well.
Currently, humans very much build an AI agent, they set it a goal, they set it limitations and off it goes. It's not self sufficient. But of course, as
this technology develops and it develops really, really fast, you start to think about all of the risks that there could be.
For instance, what if an AI agent was used by a malicious actor, a human actor, who sets it a go. And actually, we had a very good example of this
with OpenAI's auto GPT platform.
Somebody created chaos GPT and they set it goals that included destroying humanity, establishing global dominance, controlling humanity through
manipulation. And this AI agent went about creating a whole very long plan about how to do just that, how to destroy humanity.
It was quite comical, it wasn't particularly a good plan, they started researching all sorts of weapons, including Soviet era nuclear bombs.
If the AI agent is a chatbot, it has no power to enact this.
But what if it did?
And I think that is one of the big concerns people have.
What if it is weaponized?
Then you've got the issues of deepfakes.
What can you believe all online now with artificial intelligence?
What's real, what's not?
How could it be used for misinformation?
You know, we've seen a lot of chatbots in the past; with the power of AI, the spread of misinformation could be absolutely huge. There's the issue of
it replacing jobs. We're talking about this even yesterday. That is a big issue. We're already seeing this in various sectors.
But what if we went one step further?
STEWART: What if it really sort of creates huge parts of humanity that are pretty much obsolete, people that have no jobs because AI can do it better?
And then there are the issues of, what if it achieves its goals -- and it's a very goal focused AI agent.
But what if there are unintended consequences along the way?
I know your next guest has looked a lot into this. He's written a fascinating paper about evolution and natural selection and AI. And it
makes for a pretty scary read. Here's the good news. The good news is, you have this letter. You can see all the people that have signed this letter.
They're trying to get ahead of the risks.
They're trying to address that now. And these are people that fundamentally believe that there are huge potential benefits to artificial intelligence.
Some of them, we are already seeing. Now AI Is being used to address some of the world's biggest problems, that we are struggling with.
Climate change; how to identify diseases like certain cancers before human doctors are able. To how to create new treatments. So there's a huge amount
of benefits there and, if anything, I think we should all feel reassured that the risks here are being addressed and they're being addressed by the
actual sector itself.
ASHER: I'm not sure how reassured I am.
ASHER: From listening to you. But I'm even more terrified, Anna, but thank you so much, for breaking it down here, we appreciate it.
As Anna was just talking about, my next guest is actually one of the signatories of that letter, Dan Hendrycks, the executive director of the
Center for AI Safety. He wrote a paper and Anna was just talking about this as well, titled, "Natural Selection Favors AI over Humans."
In it, he warns competitive pressures would give rise to AI agents that automate human roles, deceive others and gain power. If such agents have
intelligence that exceeds that of humans, this could lead to humanity losing control of its future.
Dan Hendrycks joins me live now from San Francisco.
So we are now all aware of the risks. Obviously AI has so many benefits. But there is a laundry list of risks when it comes to this. Obviously, a
lot of people are pointing out that it could even lead to humanity's extinction.
Based on the fact that we now know the risks, what should we be differently?
DAN HENDRYCKS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR AI SAFETY: Well, so, the point of the letter was primarily just to raise attention, that everybody
involved or most of the people who developed and are developing the technology thinks this is a serious concern.
That enables us to take us actions to mitigate the sort of risks. Because it could potentially lead to extinction. So because we're kind of in an AI
arms race currently, the AI companies are racing forward, developing these technologies ever quickly.
And, they are prioritizing development speed and power of these AI systems over their safety. So since they are locked in an AI arms race, we don't
want a repeat of the nuclear arms race, where we got extremely powerful weapons that could destroy all of us and it puts all of us at the risk of
So the way to counteract that isn't just to let the companies take care of it and do research but we also need broader cooperation between the
corporations but also internationally, between different countries as well. That's the only way we can reliably ensure that we're not caught any AI
ASHER: So just in terms of specifics, how might we mitigate these risks?
Give me some specifics in terms of regulation and that sort of thing.
HENDRYCKS: So the signatories didn't sign any specific regulations, it's a wide variety, as you mentioned. There are many different risks, so we're
going to need many different regulations to address some of these risks.
But there are some basic ones. Like we should regulate it at least at the level that we regulate other sorts of products; before Apple releases their
new iPhone, they have to submit to an agency to review whether it's safe before it's rolled out to the entire public.
There is no such thing like that for AI. And so that's one of the -- at the domestic level. But like with nuclear war, what we had to do to reduce
risks of that were international treaties. So that's another possibility is, international cooperation.
We need the state leaders speaking to each other, so that we don't have a repeat of the previous century, where we keep stockpiling and making
extremely powerful systems that could blow up in our faces. We'd like to avoid that, so we're trying to be proactive about these risks.
ASHER: Isn't part of the issue that there are just so many unknowns?
I mean we really are in uncharted territory here and that's probably the issue and some of the roadblocks when it comes to regulating. This
HENDRYCKS: Yes, I mean we have a fair amount of uncertainty with respect to exactly when some sort of climate hazards occur. So I think we can deal
with uncertainty in trying to mitigate some of these global issues.
We also don't know when the next pandemic will come.
Will it come from a lab accident, will it come from wildlife?
HENDRYCKS: It's not clear but there are things we could do to address these risks, such as reduce competitive pressures and work toward cooperation.
ASHER: And beyond the sort of Armageddon scenario, there are all sorts of obvious risks when it comes to the elimination of millions of jobs, for
example, white collar jobs, blue-collar jobs, that sort of thing. And also, the potential to undermine democracy, when it comes to spreading
How should we be mitigating those types of risks?
HENDRYCKS: So, with automation, I'm not sure there is an easy way to get out of that, if there are intense competitive pressures. Basically, if the
company decides not to automate, say with AI, if AI is much cheaper, then they'll get outcompeted.
So there's some pressure for these companies to continually automate more and more, as AI gets stronger. So we're going to need to change the dynamic
if we're having any hope of making sure there isn't mass unemployment.
Likewise, for misinformation, there is again a competitive pressure. One company is going to use AI to create or one group is going to use AI to
create misinformation, the other one is probably going to do the same. And it's going to make everybody worse off.
So we have arms races at a smaller scale, in the case of using AI, to create misinformation. But then there is an arms race at a larger scale to
make them have more raw power.
So this is why we need to proceed much more slowly and carefully throughout its development and trying to get institutions set up, so that developers
are held to a similar standard and so that countries work together to avoid this issue, just as we did with nuclear or just as we work toward with
ASHER: Yes, as you point out, it's all about eliminating or reducing competitive pressures. Dan Hendrycks, thank you so much.
And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'll be back at the top of the hour with a dash to the closing bell. Up next, "QUEST'S WORLD OF WONDER."
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): I love these.
Welcome to electric city, Tokyo's famed Shibuya crossing.
Feel like you've got to cross all of them.
Plug yourself in and risk getting from one side to the other. My cherry blossom viewing will have to wait. I'm doing all I can to watch where I am
People are doing this just for fun.
Lights and modern day wizardry are everywhere. Today's tech is on full display. Here in Tokyo, they're also thinking about tomorrow.
Pushing the limits: Japan's all about putting the future within reach today.
I'm going to be a robot. All right.
This gives a new meaning to secure your seatbelt. (INAUDIBLE).
Oh, I see, there's buttons in here.
A twitch here and something moves over there. A yank there and something happens way down below.
Wow. Very clever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: Oh. It's blowing smoke around me (ph).
Absolutely brings out the aggression.
Rawr! Rawr! Rawr!
I don't know why I'm making these noises. Just feels like you want to "Rawr!"
It's mechanical and dynamic.
I'm coming to get you. World domination.
Hang on; no, no, no; I'm all right. You have just got to -- sorry, world domination will just have to wait for a moment, while I reorient the
QUEST (voice-over): It's a merging of humans and technology. And it's taken to even greater heights by Team Lab with this art installation.
Ah, this is way cool.
Frankly, my mind is bursting. I'm being exposed to Japan's futuristic concepts.
I don't think my camera is going to properly capture this.
The infinite crystal universe.
I love this. I love it when it does that effect.
With shoes removed, room to room, these installations are designed to stimulate the senses. You can touch, you can see, you can listen.
QUEST (voice-over): Everything in the end comes back to sakura, even if its digital.
How does it do that?
So when the fish collide, they turn into cherry blossom. That's lovely.
There is a long lineage of artmaking in Japan. The country, full of contradictions, this pendulum that swings, leaving me dizzy. So much
technology and then whoosh.
Something as traditional and ancient as origami.
I wonder, how can paper folding compete with the whizz-bang-pop of social media and digital games that go so fast?
Here it does so, because they are opposite sides of the same coin, requiring discovery, patience and skill.
I always look to this with wonder and awe. Growing up, anything I ever tried to do with paper always ended badly. So now I'm in Japan. The
prospect and opportunity to just see how all of this is done and have a go at it, it's just too tempting.
The origami master, Kazuo Kobayashi, fills me with confidence.
He's not even looking at what he's doing.
What age did you start?
KAZUO KOBAYASHI, ORIGAMI MASTER (voice-over): Thirty years old.
QUEST (voice-over): Thirty?
KOBAYASHI (voice-over): Now 81.
QUEST (voice-over): So 51 years.
He's like a magician, his hands never stop moving.
QUEST: He's not even looking.
Does it ever go wrong?
KOBAYASHI: (Speaking foreign language).
QUEST: One piece of paper.
KOBAYASHI: Really simple.
QUEST (voice-over): All I want to capture is cherry blossom blooms.
KOBAYASHI (voice-over): Five piece.
QUEST (voice-over): Five of those.
I have no idea what I do next. He's repairing the damage. Ah, look at that.
These are the ones that he made, they're perfect. This one sort of --
I'm feeling somewhat accomplished, until the master reveals --
What is the one secret to remember when doing origami?
KOBAYASHI (through translator): The secret of origami is that it does not require any words. Everyone can enjoy it without even speaking.
QUEST (voice-over): It is now or never, my last day in Tokyo and everywhere I am seeing sakura. Yes, the experts say today is peak bloom in Tokyo, the
moment when the flowers are at their best.
They've survived storms and the blooms are, well, blooming. In the past week, I have taken what must be dozens of photos of cherry blossoms. To be
honest, some of them are quite good. But none of them are truly capturing the essence of sakura.
The existential, here today, gone tomorrow, nature of cherry blossoms at springtime. It's only being here really and experiencing and seeing the
totality that elevates it beyond a mere chocolate box photo.
I must enjoy this experience like the locals, with hanami, basically a picnic under the cherry blossoms. And all I need is a rug and a bento box
and somebody, with which to enjoy.
What are you celebrating?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe, like, spring, you know. Spring season come. Finally winter end, the spring season come and you join me here (ph).
QUEST (voice-over): The comedian, Meshida, is guiding me on the traditional ways of hanami.
The cherry blossoms are very important here.
MESHIDA, COMEDIAN (voice-over): We have a history. You know, during World War II, the Japanese military use cherry blossom as a symbol, because they
bloom beautifully and pass away. We think it's like our samurai's mind, you know.
QUEST (voice-over): However fleeting this annual flower, the tradition of honoring it remains strong. In Ueno Park, nearly every inch of grass is
covered, rugs and mats everywhere. This is the first full-scale hanami of the post pandemic era.
There's something very special about having a bento box in Japan during sakura.
MESHIDA (voice-over): Wow. It's gorgeous.
QUEST (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE).
MESHIDA (voice-over): I think it's expensive, expensive bento.
QUEST: Damn the expense; this is sakura in Tokyo.
Friends and family, lots of corporate events, loyal white-collared workers, known as salary men, an iconic part of Japan's society. It is a life that
Meshida once knew.
QUEST (voice-over): So when you were a salary man --
MESHIDA (voice-over): Yes?
QUEST (voice-over): And you were told to go for dinner or drinks, why don't you just say no, not tonight?
MESHIDA (voice-over): Oh, because it's kind of a seniority system. You know, if you want to get promoted, you have to follow your boss. It's
QUEST (voice-over): Even today?
MESHIDA (voice-over): Even today, like in cherry blossom season. It's most important. It's a company event. So you should join that, you know?
QUEST (voice-over): And what if you say no?
MESHIDA (voice-over): Maybe they say it's OK. But on the backside, they talk about them in a bad way.
QUEST (voice-over): Really?
MESHIDA (voice-over): He never, why, you know. He's kind of like not Japanese, like an American person, you know?
MESHIDA (voice-over): Actually in Japan, now I believe I'm a Japanese stand up comedian. But Japanese people treated me as unemployed.
MESHIDA (voice-over): They don't understand you know what I'm doing.
QUEST (voice-over): Finding a new way, a new perspective, that's what he's doing; as the salary men head off to catch their trains, I linger. The
atmosphere is just magical.
QUEST (voice-over): Tokyo is a true metropolis that abounds in every direction. It's full of contradictions and I think contradiction is the
best word that describes all of this.
From the old, to the new high tech, from the individual to the conformist. And you'll want to come here and experience these contradictions for
yourself, contradictory Tokyo, absolutely part of our World of Wonder.
They don't allow hats up here.
ASHER: Hello, everyone, I'm Zain Asher. It's the dash to the closing bell. We are just two minutes away. Take a look and see what the U.S. markets are
The Dow is down about 50 points or so. But markets overall mixed, as lawmakers take up a bill to raise the country's debt ceiling. As I
mentioned, the Dow turned negative shortly after the opening bell.
The S&P 500 is flat after starting the day higher. And the Nasdaq in the green there, although it's off session highs. Let's take a look at the Dow
components quickly. Another strong day for tech. Intel is up on top, up about 3.5 percent. Its competitor Nvidia, touched a market cap of $1
trillion in midday trading. Goldman Sachs is lower. That is your dash to the bell.