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AI and the Military, Crimes Against Wildlife, Marty Baron

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
October 1, 2023 4:48 pm

AI and the Military, Crimes Against Wildlife, Marty Baron

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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October 1, 2023 4:48 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. On today's program, Ted Koppel looks at how artificial intelligence is being developed for the military; Tracy Smith sits down with singer and activist Joan Baez, subject of the new documentary, "Joan Baez I Am a Noise"; Rita Braver talks with the cast of the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along"; Rob Costa talks with former Washington Post editor Marty Baron; and Conor Knighton visits forensic scientists who investigate crimes against wildlife.

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Download the app today. He violated everything that my FBI stood for. Hansen was the most damaging spy in FBI history and his betrayals didn't end there. Do I hate him? No, I don't hate anyone. But his motive. I would love to know what his true motive is so I can get that out of me.

How did he do it? Why? Follow Agent of Betrayal to Double Life of Robert Hansen wherever you get your podcasts.

You can listen ad-free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app. Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday Morning. As you know, not that long ago, artificial intelligence, AI, was the stuff of science fiction.

No more. These days, AI touches nearly every part of our lives. But cheating on term papers is one thing. Now, as Ted Koppel will tell us, AI is becoming a major factor in a field where the stakes are far higher. The battlefield. Artificial intelligence has beaten the best in the world. At chess.

At Go. And at Texas Hold'em. But those, after all, are just games. These days, AI is being developed and deployed by the most sophisticated militaries in the world.

And not a one of them is playing games. Coming up on Sunday Morning. Back in the 1960s, Joan Baez was a leading voice of her generation. Both as a folk singer and anti-war activist. Turns out all these years later, she's still honing her craft. As she tells our Tracey Smith. 82-year-old Joan Baez has a new film. And a new voice. It's a whole other voice, maybe. Which is maybe a blessing. It's a blessing.

I've been enjoying it. Her songs and her secrets later on Sunday Morning. With Connor Knighton, we'll have a Sunday Morning episode of CSI where crime scene investigators are looking into solving crimes that are truly something wild. Rebecca Kagan is a veterinary forensic pathologist.

She's attempting to figure out how this endangered California condor died. Did you enter vet school even knowing that this job existed? No.

I was going to be a dog and cat vet. Instead, Kagan joined a team of scientists at a one of a kind crime lab. Is there anything else like this in the world? Like this facility with the scope that we have? No.

We go inside the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab. Ahead on Sunday Morning. Rita Braver this morning is on Broadway with Daniel Radcliffe and the story of the Sondheim show, Merrily We Roll Along.

Martha Teichner visits with Pulitzer Prize winning author Hernan Diaz. Robert Costa talks power and politics with former Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron. Plus, commentary from economist Robert Reich.

And more. It's the first Sunday of the month, October 1, 2023. And we'll be back in a moment. I'm Mo Rocca, and I'm excited to announce season four of my podcast Mobituaries. I've got a whole new bunch of stories to share with you about the most fascinating people and things who are no longer with us.

From famous figures who died on the very same day to the things I wish would die. Listen to Mobituaries with Mo Rocca starting October 4th on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. They're staples of many a primetime police procedural crime scene investigators. They're scientists helping to solve all sorts of crimes, perhaps none more unusual than those our Connor Knighton has been looking into. This crime lab in Oregon, an elite team of super sleuths examines evidence sent in from across the world.

Their tools may look familiar, but their cases can get pretty wild. Welcome to CSI Ashland, home of the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory. We're the only U.S. federal crime lab devoted to criminal investigations focusing on wildlife.

Barry Baker is the deputy director of the lab, founded in 1988 to solve wildlife crimes. When we're talking wildlife crime, I assume that means human versus wildlife crime. This is not wildlife on wildlife crime. This is if an eagle steals something from a fox den, we're not investigating that. Yeah, we're looking for evidence of humans committing crimes against animals.

There are many different breeds of crime. The lab is run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and supports the investigations of more than 200 special agents and inspectors in the U.S. and works with more than 150 countries, which have signed the U.N.'s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Treaty. Quite a bit of the lab's work involves illegal products made from animals. Everything from fur coats to purses to ivory sculptures crafted out of elephant tusks. When an agent at a porter shipping facility sees something suspicious, that gets sent in. There was a large shipment in Miami that was seized a few years ago where they were attempting to smuggle these and claiming that it was blue plastics for recycling, where in fact they were painting them to try to disguise the fact that they came from sea turtles and they were being smuggled.

I can certainly see why someone might fall for this. Using forensic science, the lab can not only figure out what something is, but potentially where that protected species came from, which can be helpful when tracking down poachers. Officers out in the field work the cases, but they need their evidence to be analyzed here. Why have so many different varieties of antelope?

Why is this helpful to you? Yeah, so there are so many animals that are in the wildlife trade that we need representatives to help us identify them when they come to us as evidence. The lab maintains a giant repository of specimens, both seized and donated, to use as references when they need to make comparisons during active investigations. They've got everything from bugs to bison. There are drawers of bones and birds.

This is my to-do list. Johnny French is the human in charge of the collection. In here is all of our donated specimens from zoos. So this big pile right here is a giraffe. Back in the back there's an orangutan, there's a gorilla in here, a couple of bonobos. Does anybody accidentally leave their lunch in here?

Oh, absolutely not. There is lunch in here, though. For the flesh-eating beetles who clean the bones before specimens can be examined or added to the library. There's never a dull moment in the world of wildlife forensics. I always get to learn something every day. You know the old saying, if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room?

I've never been in the wrong room here. If you have a question, you always have a world-renowned expert that you can just go and ask. In the exam room, you'll find veterinary forensic pathologist Rebecca Kagan. Basically I solve mysteries. There's a dead animal and they want to know how it died and I figure out what happens. The lab doesn't accept live animals, but when wildlife dies under suspicious circumstances, Kagan is on the case. Red-tailed hawks are significantly larger.

Sometimes teaming up with coworkers like ornithologist Jessica Terrell. There's the feet. Wow. An animal might have been electrocuted. If it turns out that's because a power company didn't take proper precautions, that could end up being a crime. It might have been poisoned. Maybe it was shot. A lot of these contours are lead poisoning cases.

Or maybe it was not. The ingested metal is right here. This bird literally ate lead. It ingested a bullet used to kill a different animal. When animals are the victims, clues can be hard to come by. Unlike a human mysterious death where the neighbor can say, yeah, I saw them yesterday. Or, you know, they didn't collect their mail.

And those are clues that help you figure out when somebody died. We don't get any of that with wildlife. The team here also gets very little information about how their findings are ultimately used.

And that's by design. They're not told much about the cases so that they're not biased. Federal authorities made some key discoveries. Bones of big cats.

Some cases are so big, they find out anyway. This is what the Tiger King was doing to his tigers. He was putting bullets in the brain case of his old tigers. French realized after the fact that he'd worked on tigers, which looked similar to this specimen, used in the trial which led to the conviction of the man known as Joe Exotic. Counts three through seven of the indictment are for shooting and killing five tigers.

Made famous in the Netflix documentary series, Tiger King. Doing this type of work can take a toll. Do you find yourself thinking about the life that that animal lived? I try not to.

It's better not to. This is a hard enough job. It's a rewarding job, but it's hard enough without thinking of what people are willing to do for animals. There are certainly people who are willing to do almost anything to obtain a rare or endangered animal. The illegal trade in wildlife is estimated to be worth $20 billion a year. But the existence of a lab like this is also evidence of the good people are willing to do for animals. Solving cases on behalf of creatures who can't speak for themselves. This isn't just a United States problem. It's not just a country of origin problem for where these animals live.

It's a problem that humanity really needs to think about and focus on how we're going to perceive living with this planet. Believe it or not, the presidential election is little more than one year away. And once again, it's looking like the role of a free press will be critical. Robert Costa is talking with a man who's been on the front lines of the information wars. We need to focus on the institution, not the individual priests.

You may think you know Marty Baron from Spotlight. Show me this was systemic, that it came from the top down. The Oscar winning film about the Boston Globe's investigation of the Catholic Church. We're going after the system. But to know the real Marty Baron is to read his new book, Collision of Power.

Which takes readers inside what he did after Spotlight. Editing the Washington Post with billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as its owner. And with Donald Trump in the White House. What did that searing experience of covering the Catholic Church in Boston do to inform you when it came time to cover Trump? Well, it informed me that we always have to confront power, we always have to hold power to account. What's it like to be back in Washington?

It's a little strange. As a former reporter at the Post, I worked with Baron for years as he dealt with deadlines and challenges. Do you miss being editor of the Washington Post?

No, actually. Catching up with him at the National Press Club, he shared something he had long kept secret. A private dinner he, Bezos and Post leaders had with Trump in June 2017. As Trump was growing furious with the paper's reporting. What was your first impression of Trump when you sat down with him for dinner? That he was trying to be charming, but I felt that it was a superficial charm. I felt that he would use the occasion to lean on Bezos.

That was my fear all along. You're right that Trump keeps kind of elbowing you at the table. Yeah, every time I was sitting to his left and every time he said something that was negative about the Post, about how we were the worst and the way that we treated him, he would just sort of poke me with his elbow. It was clear that he was trying to send me a message.

Baron came a decade ago to the Post, a paper famed for its coverage of Watergate. Bernstein got another source. The guy just was confirmed. There's any doubt we can run it tomorrow.

You don't have to. The story's solid. We're sure of it.

Okay, we go with it. But the Post was also struggling, and a year in, one of the crown jewels of journalism was sold to Jeff Bezos. When Bezos buys the paper, were you alarmed? I wouldn't say alarmed, but I was concerned. I didn't know what kind of influence he would have over our coverage.

I didn't know him at all. On the other hand, I was actually hopeful, because the Post wasn't really going anywhere at that point, except down. Baron often had to swat away conspiracy theories that Bezos had a hidden hand in news coverage. Trump insisted to you and to so many others, he told me once, that he truly believed Bezos controlled the Post. Yeah, that's what he thought. I mean, if Bezos were telling me what to do as a journalist, I would have quit.

I'm not going to do that. Was there ever a moment where you had a bit of skepticism that this guy, this billionaire, really wanted what's best for the country and what was best for the paper? I really didn't have a doubt about that. I never saw any evidence that he was using the news organization for his own personal purposes, his commercial purposes, or anything like that. Bezos, of course, was not the only figure hovering over Baron's shoulder. The number one enabler of the Democrats is the fake news media, right back there.

Thanks. When Trump announced in 2015, a lot of people dismissed him. And look, immediately after his announcement, he commanded the support of about a third of the Republican Party. How could you ignore that? So we needed to treat him seriously as a political candidate, as a political force.

We're going to keep winning, winning, winning, and I love you. For Baron, covering Trump well meant digging deep, not giving him a platform. I think it was terrible, I mean, running those entire rallies, no commentary in between, no contradiction of the falsehoods and lies that he was saying during those rallies.

That was a real mistake. It was free advertising for Trump. Once Trump won the presidency, Baron's message to the newsroom was, we're not at war, we're at work. Trump didn't buy it and began to call Baron to lash out. I keep coming back in your book to that final conversation you have on the phone with then-President Trump. He was very critical of our coverage, and he said, you're doing this because of Amazon, you're doing this because of Bezos. So I told him that it was just completely false.

I said, it's false, and you know it's false. And, well, then he broke out on a bunch of profanities. He shouted at you?

He shouted at me, he used profanities. He said to you, in one of his final phrases, everything the Post is doing is a big fat lie. Right, yeah. That's true.

That's what he said. And of course, that too is not true. We were doing our job honestly and honorably. We had an absolute obligation to hold politicians to account, including the president of the United States. It's our highest obligation. That obligation extends to coverage of the upcoming presidential election. Are journalists ready for what's to come in 2024 with this presidential campaign? I'm not sure we are ready, frankly. Barron's advice?

Keep working. We should talk to everybody. We should listen to all people. We should be generous in listening to them, hear everything they have to say. We should look at all of the evidence and do a rigorous job of reporting and then tell people what we've actually learned.

Fairness also means being fair to the public, and that means telling them what we have found to be true. Legendary composer Stephen Sondheim had more than his fair share of hit shows, but Merrily We Roll Along wasn't one of them, at least not at first. Now, more than 40 years after its rocky debut, it's back. We're on Broadway with Rita Braver. Here we are and here you are. Oh God, everywhere.

I love this. Were you really in a photo booth? We were. We just got to hang out in a photo booth.

Yeah, we were crammed in. I'm never imagining that they would be plastered all over the Broadway theater. The Broadway theater where these three friends are playing three friends. In a revival of Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Jonathan Groff, who drew raves as King George III in Hamilton, plays composer Franklin Shepherd. Who says lonely at the top? I say let it never stop.

It's our time coming through. He goes from being super excited young composer into a marriage, has a child, has a divorce, gets married again. Fools around. Fools around.

Fools around a little bit. Talk about it. Drag her.

Lindsay Mendez, who won a Tony in 2018 for her role in the revival of Carousel, is writer Mary Flynn. She's got some big problems. She's in love with Frank and she drinks too much. Yeah, I think those things are a bit related.

Yeah, she's got a bit of unrequited love for him. Nothing's the way that it was. I want it the way that it was. Help me stop remembering then. What's the most challenging part of playing the role for you?

I think it's just the pain of her and of someone who isn't getting what they want or maybe isn't even sure of what they want. How did you get to be here? By now, you may have recognized the third member of this trio from his days as Harry Potter. But Daniel Radcliffe has become an established Broadway star in revivals of shows like Equus and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In Merrily We Roll Along, he plays Charlie Kringus. Pick yourself a road, get to know the countryside. Soon enough you're merrily, merrily practicing dreams.

His friendship with Frank faces serious challenges. It's a very American role. All of us who care about theater here are raised on Sondheim. For somebody like you who grew up essentially in the movies in England, do you feel about Sondheim the way Americans do? My parents met doing musical theater, so I listened to a bunch of Sondheim growing up and other show tunes. I thought everyone listened to show tunes in the car. I thought that was road trip music.

Apparently not everyone. So yeah, I grew up not quite as steeped in it as these guys are, but loving it as well. The story of creating Merrily We Roll Along is a drama in itself. Fresh from a string of hits, director Hal Prince and Sondheim decided to do a musical update of a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.

But when Merrily opened in 1981, most critics savaged it. The musical would close after only 16 performances. Still working with writer George Firth, Stephen Sondheim would not give up on the show.

He's not somebody who believes you have to do it one way. Maria Friedman is directing the Broadway revival. She's also a well-known British actor who developed a close friendship with Sondheim. You were actually in a production where Stephen Sondheim was fine-tuning the show? That's right. He chose a few of us, and I think with caution took us outside of London, because as we all know, he had been pretty burnt.

Look at us, Charlie. Nothing's the way that it was. That version opened in Leicester, England, just one of many places where the show would play to praise, over the years becoming one of Sondheim's best-loved musicals. It started out like a song.

In fact, Friedman directed a successful version in London in 2012. But Merrily We Roll Along has never been back on Broadway. I feel like you're inviting me into your home, which is right. It does feel like my home. Until now, in this theatre.

This space is a holding space, and I chose it because I wanted it to be like a picture frame. And Daniel Radcliffe says he thinks this production will capture what Sondheim was really hoping the play would be. He's going to be considered like Shakespeare.

I think it's going to be sort of locked in amber in a way, and people are not going to want to mess around with it or play around with it too much. Opening doors, singing, look who's here, beginning to sail on a dime. Maria Friedman was in close consultations with Stephen Sondheim about this production, just before his death in 2021. He's the godfather of your child.

I mean, what does it mean to you that you're probably going to be the person to bring the hit version of this show? Don't make me cry. I wish he was here. I wish he was here to see it, because I did it for him.

Yeah, sorry. Yeah, I miss him. And I think I feel him in the auditorium, and he's keeping me on my toes.

And I wish to goodness see he was there. And as for the three friends playing three friends... It's our time, breathe it in. Worlds to change and worlds to win. Someone told me yesterday that this show reeks of friendship, that it's like a wave coming off the stage, and it makes sense because that's what we feel while we do it.

And yet, back in 1981, the critics panned this show, and now we cannot believe that happened. What do you want to say to the critics as this show is opening? Be what we can. We can't wait for you to see it.

We hope you enjoy it. Majority leaders recognized. I ask that the Senate observe a moment of silence in honor of Senator Dianne Feinstein. It happened this past week, the passing of a trailblazer. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a pioneering woman in politics, died Thursday at the age of 90.

It's my duty to make this announcement. Both Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk have been shot and killed. Feinstein rose to national prominence in 1978 when she became mayor of San Francisco after a crime that shocked the nation. The status quo must go. In the Senate, she was both a progressive liberal and a pragmatic lawmaker. Her signature issues gun control, women's rights, and investigating the post-9-11 CIA interrogation program.

This is not what Americans do. Dianne Feinstein was the longest-serving woman and oldest sitting member of the United States Senate. Artificial intelligence, AI, is changing the rules affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. As you've probably heard, it's a powerful tool. So powerful, it's causing a new arms race of sorts, an arms race with consequences that are nothing less than life and death.

Here's senior contributor Ted Koppel. We are on the verge, really, of a new era. Earlier this year, House and Senate committees and subcommittees heard a good bit of alarming testimony about... Government cannot govern AI if it does not understand AI.

There are so many questions. Artificial intelligence and China. We're in direct competition with China.

We win or they win. The Chinese Communist Party deeply understands the potential for AI to disrupt warfare. AI is China's Apollo project. The Chinese have something called civil-military fusion, which basically says the government can demand the cooperation of any company, any academic institution, any scientist in support of its military.

That's Michelle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense in the Obama administration. We have a very different approach. We have a truly private sector, and individuals and scientists and academics and companies get to choose whether they want to contribute to national security.

Which may be as good a place as any to slow down for a moment. Because if we're going to understand the future of artificial intelligence in national security, it may help to take a look back... Garry Kasparov has arrived. when AI was proving its potential on a couple of board games. In 1997, Garry Kasparov, widely regarded as one of the greatest chess masters of all time, accepted a challenge from IBM's Deep Blue.

He won that first game, but that was it. Kasparov is doing some very strange things right now. He almost seems to be talking to himself.

Whoa! Kasparov has resigned. On one level, Kasparov must have seen it coming.

He looks like a guy who's facing his own executioners. The ancient game of Go is hugely popular in Asia, even more complicated than chess. This young South Korean Lisa doll was considered perhaps the greatest Go player in the world. The award-winning documentary AlphaGo captured the media frenzy in 2016 before the first of five challenge matches between Lisa doll and a specially designed AI program. Lisa doll and human intuition were crushed four games to one.

He said I'll just slap himself on the side of the head. But what was a staggering headline-making event only a few years ago is already little more than a footnote in the evolution of artificial intelligence, which left poker. Heads up, no limit, Texas Hold'em. People get to lie in poker. Decisions have to be made on imperfect information, which is precisely what attracted the attention of Thomas Sandholm, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon. Almost all problems in the real world are imperfect information games in the sense that the other players know things that I don't know, and I know things that the other players don't know.

In 2017, the team at Carnegie Mellon issued a challenge to four professional poker players, including Jason Less. We really wanted to fight for humanity and show that our beloved game of poker was so complex that humans still had an edge over AIs. Does AI play like a human? It played very much unlike a human. An AI can know that it's going to play at a certain hand 13% of the time and have a much more complex strategy than a human mind is able to have. But you were representing humanity, and you lost.

Rubbing salt in the wood, I had forgotten by now. But for us, yes, we wanted to demonstrate that this game was so complex that AI had not quite gotten there yet. Losing to that AI made me realize that this technology had gotten very advanced. The techniques that we developed were not really techniques for solving poker, per se. They were techniques for solving imperfect information games more generally. Basically, poker is a civilized, relatively civilized, form of warfare. That is a good way to put it. We're not out there with guns, tanks, and planes, but we're out there with chips and cards, and we're waging battle there.

It's still, at the end of the day, a strategy game. Having sharpened their skills on poker, Professor Sandholm's AI company, Strategy Robot, The behaviors are playing out exactly how we would expect. now work as Pentagon contractors, filling in the gaps of imperfect information. We're trying to help the nation and our allies have a superior AI capability for this type of decision-making. So I'm assuming that that kind of information is being funneled to the Ukrainian military.

I can't comment on that. Okay, but whatever you have, you give to the Pentagon. What the Pentagon does with it is none of your business. Well, it is our business.

I just can't talk about it. Okay, but is it fair to say that some of the same principles that are applied to AI playing poker are now being applied to a war that is being fought? To the current war?

I can't comment. But for military strategy, operations, and tactics in general, yes. Yes. AI in war fighting is already a foregone conclusion. For the moment, though, U.S. policy insists that there always be human oversight. Artificial intelligence. It's all we hear about, read about, see, overhyped?

Yes and no. And there's a new office at the Pentagon under the cautious guidance of Dr. Craig Martell to ensure that the policy is implemented. My office, the Chief Digital and AI Office, has a pretty unique role. What we're going to do is provide guardrails and policies that say if you're going to acquire AI, here's what it's like to do it responsibly. If you're going to deploy AI, here's how you have to evaluate it.

What that boils down to is a question of confidence when the wrong decision will cost lives. So imagine an AI told a commander, do action A, and that the commander, through all his or her training, would have said do action B. What should that commander do? Should the commander listen to that machine or should the commander listen to his or her training and her intuition? Excellent question.

What's your answer? If the DoD is good at one thing, we are very good at training. Training, training, training, training. And through all of that training, if the commander got used to trusting that machine, then the commander might trust that machine. If the commander got used to not trusting the machine, then the commander wouldn't.

If that sounds like a gigantic waffle, it is, but it also has the additional virtue of containing more than a grain of truth. Jason Liss, the dethroned poker champion, speaks from personal experience. I can take you back to the beginning of this AI challenge. The AI told me how to play a hand a certain way. I would have believed from my experience, from what the AI was telling me, that this is not good advice, and my conventional wisdom and my understanding of strategy was the most optimal. However, over time, playing against the AI for thousands of hands, finally, that confidence builds up, and eventually, it's trusted for these higher stakes decisions. The thing that keeps me up at night is really, what if in these military settings we fall behind, for example, China, in our decision-making AI technology? Do you think that's happening? I think China has caught up in AI with the US overall, and we're kind of on par right now. I think in military AI, China has much better pickup in actually adopting AI in the military. I don't think we know exactly how fast they're moving.

That's former Under Secretary of Defense Michelle Flournoy. I think we cannot afford to take our foot off the gas. When you think about a China scenario, if China's moving against Taiwan, if you wait until they're actually attacking Taiwan, to have that sense of urgency and to respond, it's going to be over before the first new piece of whatever you think you need actually arrives. So to me, that means that we haven't fully absorbed the urgency of doing this. Which is precisely what makes this next statement, and it does accurately reflect US policy, difficult to accept. So we have got to proceed with development, but with a very strong ethical and normative framework in place that ensures that the only AI we actually deploy for military purposes is safe, is secure, is responsible, is explainable, is trustworthy.

But this notion that AI is going to be making large campaign-level decisions in warfare, I don't see that, given our values as a democracy, given the norms that we've established already. And yet, when we come up against the competition and we come to believe that our competitors are not being bound by the same ethical guidelines, what do you do? If an adversary uses a weapon that creates massive civilian casualties, or things that are equivalent to war crimes, we don't say, OK, well, we have to do that too.

We call them out on it, and we try to sanction them. I'm not sure I accept that. There have simply been too many times, going back to 1945 and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when we clearly were not bound by those kinds of strictures. That's fair. That's fair. And when we feel that an adversary is gaining advantages over us, I'm not altogether confident that we would remain bound by those kind of strictures.

Yeah, my hope would be that we wouldn't abandon the same principles as they did, because at the end of the day, how we fight says a lot about who we are. Precisely the argument made last summer when the Biden administration sent a shipment of cluster bombs, banned by more than 120 countries, to Ukraine. Lots of munitions. Why now? Running out of ammunition.

Running out of ammunition. The issue before us, though, is human oversight of all military AI programs. The mistakes that I see in life, almost all of them are made by humans. That's Professor Tuomas Sandholm again. People think that there should be human oversight of AI, which I actually do believe there should be human oversight of AI, but there should also be AI oversight of humans.

So the oversight should be both directions, and that balance of oversight is going to shift over time. There is, when you think about it, a pattern that different artificial intelligence programs established in the games they won over the very best players in the world, in poker, in Go, and in chess. Hardly anyone believed that it could happen, until, of course, it did. That's right.

Humans believe that they're better at decision-making than they really are. That's just one of the songs that inspired a generation back in the 1960s. All these years later, the legendary Joan Baez is still at it. But as Tracy Smith found out, singing isn't her only talent. Well, as I remember, your eyes were bluer than Robin's eggs.

My portrait was loosely set. For 60 years, Joan Baez traveled the world, raising her clear soprano voice in song and in protest. And if you're offering me diamonds and dust, I've already paid. But in 2018, she toured for the last time and came home to this little slice of paradise near San Francisco, where she feels free to express a less serious side. You are the farthest thing from a witch. They're good witches.

That is true. If she's a witch, she's got magic to spare. Along with singing, Baez has been drawing upside down and writing backwards since she was a kid.

So we'll put a hat on this lady to make it interesting. And now she's put her drawings in a book. There's Paul Simon. Oh, yeah, Paul Simon.

That's great. She's also been painting portraits. Willy.

Willy never got finished, but it's definitely Willy. And she's taking a fresh look at herself in a new documentary opening in theaters nationwide next week called Joan Baez, I Am a Noise. Did you know going in that you would reveal these secrets?

Going in was, why don't we do something about Joan's last tour? And I decided I really wanted to leave an honest legacy about everything. And so that's when I gave the directors a key to my storage unit.

Her mother saved everything, home movies, letters, drawings. But Joan had never even looked at it. When I go in there, it's the first time I've ever been there. It's the first time.

Yeah. I pitched myself into a sea of memories and headed blindly for the marrow of the inner core me. Dark, dark, dark.

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Joan Baez's public life is well-documented. 40 studio and live albums. Just about every music honor there is, including her 2017 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Amazing grace.

And decades of concerts and marches and human rights causes. We shall overcome. We shall overcome.

You were there for the March on Washington in 1963 with Dr. Martin Luther King. Were you hopeful then? I was smart then. And I was smart enough to know that we shall overcome did not mean probably in this lifetime.

So I was dug in. I mean, I knew this was going to be a long battle. In the 1960s, she toured with a fellow warrior, Bob Dylan. They fell in love, but it didn't last. You said that Bob Dylan broke your heart. It was probably the deepest I've ever felt for somebody, and I had a little clue to that is I think when somebody walks away from you, you feel a lot more than if you walk away from them. And I got walked away from in a big way, and it was hard to get over. Hi, Bob. In 1967, Baez was arrested for blocking the entrances to military induction centers in Oakland, California.

The journalist and anti-Vietnam War activist David Harris visited her in jail. You two got married, you got pregnant, and then he went to prison. That is a rough way to start a marriage. Yeah, it was not an ideal way to start.

For me, somebody who wanted to be the perfect wife and perfect mother and all of that, none of it really was possible. But, you know, these chickens. The chicken just wants to comment. Who's at the door? Hello, ladies.

Seems fitting that Joan Baez has a flock of chickens. She says she does better with crowds than one-on-one. The one-on-one was too difficult.

The one on 2,000, not such a problem. She and David Harris divorced amicably in 1973, and she's happily single. I don't want to take on one more thing like trying to find the appropriate partner.

It seems such an exhausting idea that I said, I quit. Baez and her son Gabriel have stayed close, but she says her relationship with her own parents was complicated and her mental health often suffered. He walked out on the stage and he said, oh, she looks so peaceful.

Exactly the opposite of what was going on inside. In the documentary, Baez reveals that as adults, she and her sister Mimi came to believe that their father had been sexually inappropriate with them when they were children. She can't remember all the details, and her parents both denied it happened. Many parents who've been involved in this cycle and their kids accuse them, they don't remember.

I wanted to remember. I couldn't until I was 50 years old, and they blocked it out. But now that her parents and her sister are gone, Baez felt it was a secret she needed to share.

Most people with a lot of this stuff are not going to talk about it, and then you can't really heal, I don't think, without being able to express yourself. The letting the secrets out and the way we did it has opened some doors for people, which is like icing on the cake for me. Say wham. And here's another less painful secret she's just now sharing with us. At 82, Joan Baez has a new voice. I've discovered really recently that I'm happy in this little pocket of vocalizing.

Where is it? Can you blow? It's really, really low, yeah. Maybe a blessing?

I've been enjoying it. I'm not the one you want, babe. I'm not the one you need. That's It Ain't Me, Babe by her old friend Bob Dylan.

You're looking for someone who will promise never to part. Joan Baez is still using her voice in other ways too. In June, she went with a children's nonprofit to Ukraine. But the woman who spent most of her life on the road and in the trenches has found a certain quiet she never knew before. Are you at peace?

I would say yeah. I'm able to conduct myself in a certain way that I feel at peace with a lot of things I wouldn't have dreamed. I finally realize I don't have to solve everybody's problems and make world peace and do a concert all at once, you know. What a relief.

I can breathe instead. Some novels are so seamlessly written, it's hard to imagine the years of hard work that went into writing them. With Martha Teichner, time for a master class in the writer's craft from best-selling author Hernán Diaz. I prefer to write with this pen because if one can feel love for objects, I feel love for this pen. Hernán Diaz writes long hand. There is the sensual experience of writing long hand. There is something about the murmur of the pen on the paper.

There is nothing like it for me. He covers every square inch of every page in his notebooks. Look at this crazy page.

Look, but not up close. He's uncomfortable, even a little bit superstitious about letting a camera capture something so intimate and personal. This is trust. This is trust. This is book two of trust. The handwritten manuscript of the novel that just won him the Pulitzer Prize.

Absolutely brilliant. An international bestseller published in 35 languages, trust is about how money is made. The kaleidoscopic telling of the same story in four different voices. One novel in four books. I think the most pleasurable book to write was the first one because I came up with a conceit that allowed me to write in this obsolete, beautiful tone.

And I was so happy. Think Edith Wharton's novels about wealth and class during the Gilded Age at the end of the 19th century. She's a major influence in my writing, in my way of thinking about prose and the English language and the novel as a form.

Wharton's home, the Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts, is where Diaz's book event took place. Her family was part of the privilege class called Old New York Society. Her father did not work. His family money came from his grandfather who made it in shipping.

Lucretia, the mother's family, dated back to the Mayflower. A moneyed world where money isn't mentioned. But it does speak. In other words, exactly the kind of world that the stratospherically rich fictional tycoon in trust comes from. My job is about being right always.

And if I'm ever wrong, I will use all the means at my disposal to bend and align reality in such a way that my mistake ceases to be a mistake. That's a shocking notion. It is a shocking notion. In the style of the great man memoir, he pontificates about manipulating markets during the crazy, booming 1920s. And then again, when Wall Street crashes in 1929, his fortune growing exponentially, while other people are ruined. Then Diaz twists the kaleidoscope so readers see the man's wife through her diary. As I started reading about American finance and the history of money making in America, it became absolutely apparent that this was a male world, an utterly womanless world. And it was crushing also doing my research and going through the papers of the wives of real American tycoons to see how suffocating and claustrophobic most of their lives were.

Diaz researches like the Ph.D. scholar he is, and then sets about myth-busting, taking tropes of the American story and picking them apart. I'm lucky to live a few blocks away from here, so I got to inhabit the world of the novel. And one of my main characters lives there, was a big Italian enclave that way. And then over there, of course, is the financial district. A universe, not just a river apart at the time the events of the book take place.

The difference between this and this. The book is very much interested in this dissonance, in this contrast of these two realities on either side of the East River. I am the son of Italian immigrants. They went to Buenos Aires, Argentina, but they could just as well have ended here in Brooklyn. And I don't think you can write about New York City without writing about immigration. This is a city of immigrants, all of us.

There's the Statue of Liberty, right over there. Fifty now, Hernandez moved to Sweden at the age of two. His parents forced to flee Argentina after a military coup. We spoke Spanish at home, but I spoke Swedish out in the world. And I went to grade school there, and then with the return of democracy we all moved back to Argentina. I can't say I was happy at the time.

I think it was very hard for me. And I think the decision to move at age 23, 24, first to London, where I lived for a couple of years, and then to Brooklyn here, where I've been for over 25 years now, had to do with choosing my own linguistic home. And that was English. I love the sound of English, the music of English.

I love the things my face has to do to speak English. It feels good. It was a lifesaver, a true refuge. Hernan Diaz also loves libraries. And this is your special... This is it. This is where it all happened.

Particularly his favorite spot, in this one, at the Center for Brooklyn History near his home. Most of the things that I've written since I moved to this neighborhood, which was in 2010, I've written in this room. For years without recognition. It was a sad, dark, long stretch of my life under the cold shadow of rejection that went on for a really, really, really long time. And I kept writing just out of sheer love of language and sentences. Until, at last, a miracle of validation. He sent the book he wrote in these red notebooks to a small publisher in Minneapolis. They have one day a year where they accept unsolicited submissions. His lucky day.

They took it on without any kind of questions. And your reaction? There were a lot of tears. His novel, In the Distance, an eerie, genre-bending western, was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2018. And then, this year, he won for trust. Over the course of five years, these two massive things happened.

It's a lot to take in, really. But my goals have not changed. My goal is always that the sentence that I'm writing is as beautiful as it can be. Like this one. At the end of trust. Words peeling off from things. In and out of sleep.

Like a needle coming out from under a black cloth and then vanishing again. Unthreaded. Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown last night. Still, that doesn't mean the problem has gone away. We have thoughts this morning from economist Robert Reich. We averted a government shutdown for now.

But this kind of last-minute and temporary Perils of Pauline drama is itself harmful to America. Millions of people didn't know if they'd continue to get disaster relief or clean water protection or food safety inspections, cancer research, nutrition programs for children. Federal workers such as air traffic controllers and those in the military would have been required to work without pay, even though most would have gotten back pay once the shutdown ended. Most low-wage federal contractors, on the other hand, would have been out of luck. The blame falls squarely on MAGA extremists acting on Donald Trump's orders, hard-right House Republicans who would have taken America hostage.

There was no reason for this close call. In May, House Republican leaders agreed to a very specific deal to fund the government. Then they reneged on it, proposing instead to cut housing subsidies for the poor just as soaring rents drive a national affordability crisis, taking nutritional assistance away from more than a million women and children, cutting home heating assistance just as we head into the winter months. At least the Senate had the sense to come up with a bipartisan continuing resolution to keep the government open. This shootout inside the Republican Party was all about showing Trump who was willing to fight the hardest, regardless of whether any of it made any sense even for them. The rest of the country was almost caught in the crossfire. And we're still not out of the woods.

The continuing resolution just kicks the can down the road. My advice to the rest of America? Well, remember this as we head into election season. And vote accordingly. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. by completing a short survey at slash survey
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-01 18:14:58 / 2023-10-01 18:35:32 / 21

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