Axios (2018) s04e20 Episode Script

Season 4, Episode 20

Meta Reality Labs BURLINGAME, CA - Let me know when you're ready.
- Yeah.
Now, I'm joining the room.
So we're gonna sit next to each other.
So on the menu in front of you, right-hand side, is a little - Chair.
- That's the one.
- And you want me the one next to you.
- That's the one.
- Hey.
You're right over there.
- We did it.
Metaverse / the future of Facebook Meta is the new name for the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.
Meta hopes to attract 1 billion users to its virtual reality metaverse within the next decade.
Andrew Bosworth currently leads Meta's virtual reality laboratory and in 2022 will become company-wide CTO.
So since we're in the metaverse, let's talk about the metaverse.
What actually for people out there, what is the metaverse? We think of the metaverse as being a successor to the mobile internet.
If you take a step back and you think about the apps we already use in our phones whether it be Snapchat, or Facebook, or TikTok, or Instagram, these each are little digital worlds.
But they don't connect to each other.
There are all these disconnected little digital planets all over the place.
And the idea of the metaverse is be able to bring my identity from one place to the next.
My friends, my content, conversations from one place to the next.
And so we think people will experience the metaverse on phones on laptops, on consoles, and certainly, yes, maybe most fulfillingly, in virtual reality.
Do you envision this getting so good that we're just happy spending all our time in our sweatpants at home in VR experiencing the metaverse? There's no food in the metaverse, Ina.
Right off the bat, I'm gonna get out of the house.
I promise you that.
Well, there's no pants right now either.
We don't even have legs.
We don't need pants.
So I think the the metaverse is gonna get pretty great, fun, and engaging.
But it's still never gonna be as good as being there in person.
If you don't mind, we're gonna leave our avatars behind and We've gone to all the trouble of getting together in person.
- It seems a shame to waste it.
- Sounds good.
So assuming people want to spend time in the metaverse, how do you avoid whether it's a terrorist planning going on or just misinformation from being spread when you bring all the world that close together? I think it's not even really a metaverse issue.
It's an issue that we face today with the tools that we have like WhatsApp and Messenger.
How do we want to balance our ability to communicate privately, private from governments, private from corporations versus, "No, I want to make sure that nobody is having a conversation I don't like," and therefore we should sacrifice some of that privacy? And as you mentioned, this isn't a metaverse issue.
It's a here-and-now issue.
I mean, if you look at January 6th, a lot of the conversations leading up to January 6th happened online.
A good number of them happened on your platform.
Do you guys feel you did everything you could to stop it? Or is it more this is an inevitable tradeoff of bringing the world together? When you bring the internet together, you bring together people who otherwise wouldn't find themselves, including people who are in marginalized or at-risk communities.
How do you do that without also bringing together communities that you'd rather not bring together? People who are have, you know, violent ideologies.
I don't think it's a solvable problem.
Those things come hand in hand.
The core of Facebook's algorithm, if you boil down what I'm sure is something incredibly complex to something quite simple, it's, "What is it that people want to see?" A lot of it is negative, the things that spur, that make our blood boil.
Facebook has been less editorial in the past and more, "Let's give people what they want.
" Where do you see your role going forward? Any business has a concept called red revenue, the idea of somebody who came in and bought something but it wasn't the right thing, so now they had a bad experience.
You wish you'd never sold it to 'em.
I think there's a similar concept here where it's things that people click on, there's no person on Earth who is building a product that they want people to later regret the time they spend on it.
There is a process, not quite an editorial process but a process of learning as we inform our algorithms to optimize for different things.
Not just the amount of time that's somebody spending, not just the clicks, but how they feel about the time that they're spending.
There are a lot of people that feel like Facebook, now Meta, itself hasn't been fast enough to respond to the negative consequences of its products.
I think there was a worker that came out in the Facebook papers in August 2020 that left and said, you know, "Facebook only addresses things when they get dire.
They don't do it fast enough.
" And then, of course, five months later we had January 6th.
Can Facebook move faster? And you're gonna be in charge of the technical direction starting next year.
Can you do more? If we took every single dollar and human that we had it wouldn't eliminate people seeing speech that they didn't like on the platform.
It wouldn't eliminate every opportunity that somebody had to use the platform maliciously.
The alternative is to not have these tools.
And there are people who believe these tools are fundamentally unsafe, that our democracy is less healthy, our health is less sound because of misinformation, we just shouldn't have these tools because we can't solve for this.
If your democracy can't tolerate the speech of people, I'm not sure what kind of democracy it is.
I understand the speech of people can be dangerous.
I really do.
But that is what we are talking about, a fundamentally democratic technology.
But I do believe in giving people more access to information and more access to connect with one another and not reserving those as tools for some small number of elite people.
So I stand by the tools that we build.
If you talk to a random person, "Do you use Facebook? Do you use Instagram? Do you use Snapchat?" they do and they like it.
I think it's more complicated.
I love the way that I'm able to connect with my cousins that live far away.
I don't feel better that COVID is worse in our country because of the spread of misinformation, some of which is happening on Facebook.
Are you confident that the overall impact of what you do not just the good, but the overall impact-is better than if we didn't have these tools? The individual humans are the ones who choose to believe or not believe a thing.
They're the ones who choose to share or not share a thing.
I don't feel comfortable at all saying they don't get to have a voice 'cause I don't agree what they said, I don't like what they said.
But when you look at the level of COVID misinformation that's spreading, are we still not getting it right when it comes to what speech is amplified on platforms like yours? Our ability to know what is misinformation is itself in question, and I think reasonably so.
So I'm very uncomfortable with the idea that we possess enough fundamental rightness, even in our most scientific centers of study, to exercise that kind of power on a citizen, another human, and what they want to say, and who they want to listen to.
Instead, we have, "What do people want to hear?" which is really the best way to approximate the algorithm.
So do you think vaccine hesitancy would be the same with or without social media? Facebook ran probably the biggest COVID vaccine campaign in the world.
What more can you do if some people who are gonna get that real information from a real source choose not to get it? That's their choice.
They're allowed to do that.
You have an issue with those people.
You don't have an issue with Facebook.
You can't put that on me.
Well, I have an issue not just with the fact that the people are saying it.
I certainly support even their right to say it.
I have a problem that it has such huge reach on your platform.
Those voices are still getting amplified, even with significant effort to avoid it.
That's not a supply problem.
That's a demand problem.
People want that information.
And I know you don't want them to want it.
I don't believe that the answer is I will deny these people the information they seek and I will enforce my will upon them.
That can't be the right answer.
That cannot be the democratic answer.
Is there somewhere in between where you're not completely preventing them from getting that information but you are making it less easy for it to spread? We're doing that.
We are on the middle path.
You just don't like the answers.
But at some point, the onus is and should be in any meaningful democracy on the individual.
- Andrew Bosworth, thank you so much.
- Thanks for having me.
Jim Clyburn, D-SC / a conversation with the Majority Whip Congressman Clyburn, it's so good to be with you, as always.
- Thank you.
- We have a lot to discuss.
By many measures, you're the guy who got President Joe Biden elected.
Has he lived up to your expectations so far? You run for president for a four-year term.
You lay out a platform.
But for some strange reason, people seem to feel although you got four years to do it you gotta do it in the first hundred days.
And if not, certainly in the first year.
And so, yes, he's lived up to my expectations.
But he is living up to my expectations.
But polls after poll shows the public seems to be losing confidence in him.
What do you see in Biden that other people might not? Well, a lot of people seem to judge today based upon headlines rather than headway.
You may not get headlines for getting the vast majority of the American people vaccinated, but that's what he's done.
But people seem to be pretty pleased with a bombastic, empty vessel yellin' about things, lyin' about things, talkin' loud.
You're talking about Donald Trump? That's exactly who I'm talking about.
That's who who's been perpetuating the big lie.
There's no substance in that foolishness.
A lotta style and absolutely no substance.
You and I talked about your trip to Virginia when you were campaigning for Terry McAuliffe ahead of the governor's race there.
A lot of people are saying in the media and otherwise that that should be a warning sign for the Democratic Party.
I don't know that anybody can argue with the substance of Terry McAuliffe's tenure as governor of Virginia.
On substance, he was a great governor.
Stylistically, he misspoke in one particular instance, which I think made the difference in that campaign.
You're talking about Terry McAuliffe's comments with respect to schools and parents' involvement in schools? Yes, that's what I'm talking about.
That was a big miss.
It's not what he meant to say but that's what came off.
And I've seen that happen more than once before.
Do you think that comments like that help fuel Republicans' fire to make critical race theory a campaign issue that they hope helps them in 2022? No.
The misspeak had nothing to do with critical race theory.
It had to do with one question as to who should be in charge of schools, and he misspoke.
That wasn't theory.
That's a fact.
You know, all this talk about how to campaign to get voters out won't matter if people can't actually go and cast a ballot.
Is federal voting rights legislation dead? We will find a way to get these voting rights bills passed.
It may require some jiu-jitsu but that's not beyond the Senate to do that.
Do you think that Senate Democrats will move to eliminate the filibuster in order to pass voting rights legislation? I never have advocated that.
We have developed a workaround of the filibuster when it comes to the budget.
We call it reconciliation.
I've said that reconciliation ought to apply to constitutional issues like voting.
So how can you explain to the people watching why Democrats haven't been able to deliver on federal voting rights so far? Because of the filibuster.
That's why.
The filibuster's still there.
I happened to have been around in 1964 and '65 when we had to overcome filibusters to get the Voting Rights Act passed and the Civil Rights Act of '64.
When you institutionalize the filibuster, you are institutionalizing racism.
We just talked about how the filibuster is likely not going to be eliminated.
How confident are you that federal voting rights will become law next year? They'll come up with some way to get around it.
We had better come up with some way to get around it because this democracy is teetering on collapse.
It's not just the voting rights legislation.
It's also the For the People Act, the sweeping democracy reform package that you all put forward.
I'm curious.
Since that hasn't been passed either, do you think that Democrats simply lack the collective will to save democracy? No.
I think there are three voting rights bills over in the Senate.
I predict that those three bills are gonna be folded into one bill, and it'll pass, and it will protect voting rights.
You were in your teens when this country still didn't give Black folks the right to vote.
Are you ever worried that we're heading back toward a reality at all similar to that? Sure.
I'm always worried about that.
I think it was Thomas Jefferson who is credited with having said "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
" And I think this country has not been vigilant.
So much of what we thought we had left back in the '30s and '40s are we beginning to experience now, and it's not because they're just beginning to happen.
It's because it never went away.
You and your colleagues have been considering how to hold Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert accountable for her Islamophobic comments against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Do you think that she should be stripped of her committee assignments? Yeah, but that's the Republicans to do.
She is a member of the Republican conference.
So it's not the Democratic Party's responsibility to police Republicans.
We got a hard enough job with our own.
The problem is there's no leadership on the Republican side.
And that's why these people are running willy-nilly, because there's nobody providing them leadership.
Biden will be 82 in 2024.
When do you think it's time for the party to create a path for the next generation? The path is there for the next generation.
I never asked anybody to die for me.
I don't know why people come sayin', "You need to step aside for me.
" No.
If you want my seat, come get it.
It's electric! / Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson U.
electric vehicle company Lucid Motors began delivering its first cars in October 2021.
CEO Peter Rawlinson formerly worked for Elon Musk as chief engineer of the Tesla Model S.
In November, Lucid's valuation briefly surpassed Ford Motor Company's, which sold 4.
2 million vehicles in 2020.
In 2021, Lucid Motors will make 557 vehicles.
Lucid Motors headquarters NEWARK, CA So Peter, we're looking at something here we haven't seen before, right? Lucid Air Touring.
$95,000, 400-mile range.
- $95,000? - Ninety-five.
- Still too much money for most people.
- Indeed, indeed.
How long do you think before people will have Lucids in their driveway? We've got many customers with Lucids in their driveway today.
- Not many.
Not many.
- Now, it's gonna take off.
I'm talking about mass market.
Will they be affordable by the end of the decade? If I have anything to do with it, because that's my passion.
Surveys show two-thirds of Americans are open to buying an electric car, but the initial cost is the most-cited reason for not going electric.
The only Lucid model currently available for purchase is the Lucid Air Dream, retailing at $169,000.
Between Lucid, and Rivian, and Tesla, these new automakers are worth far more than these hundred-year-old companies.
Have investors gone mad? You might make I think 500 cars this year, right? It's based upon a tech company's status.
You don't think GM and Ford are technology companies? It's a very simple measure of whether you're a tech company or not: who designs, develops, creates, and manufactures in house their own electric motors for their cars.
I only know of two companies that do that, and those two companies are Tesla and Lucid.
You've worked for Jaguar and Lotus.
- And then you joined Tesla in 2009.
- Yeah.
They were just starting to take off at that point.
- What was your role at Tesla? - So Elon asked me to join.
My role was chief engineer for the Tesla Model S.
And I took that from a clean sheet with just about six engineers to the car that you know and love today.
Why did you leave Tesla? Well, I had an elderly mom.
She really needed me.
And I had a boss that wasn't treating me too well.
- What do you mean? - So it was an easy decision.
Who wasn't treating you well? I don't think we need to go into that.
He's a tough man to work for.
Everyone has said so.
So here you are now.
We know how Tesla turned out.
- It's a trillion-dollar company.
- Yes.
You are now competing against your old company and your old boss, Elon Musk.
I'm competing against the 96%, 97% that are gasoline.
It's nice to portray this as a competition between my former boss and me and there might be some element of that overlap.
But I'm going for the rest of the market.
Do you think he's afraid of what you're building here? I think that's for others to judge.
Let's see how it pans out in the next few years.
Well, let's talk about this car.
This is your baby.
The first car, Lucid Air.
Tell us what makes it special.
This has never been done before.
It's smaller on the outside and bigger on the inside.
How does that happen? By the miniaturization of the electric powertrain.
We've made it the most advanced in the world, ultra high voltage, ultra high efficiency, ultra compact.
But $169,000.
Why build a car for the wealthy? I don't want to be doing wealthy people's cars.
The biggest challenge I've always faced was getting money, not going bankrupt, having that investment as a startup to develop this.
Start with this, but my passion: get this down from s $169,000 to under $70,000 by the end of next year.
My next-door neighbor drives a Honda Civic, right? When can they afford to buy a Lucid? Efficiency's the key, and our technology will drive down the pack size in this car.
And driving the pack size will drive down the cost.
And that's where we get to a $25,000 car.
And when is that $25,000 car do you think? I think that could come three to four years from now.
Now, let's say we can get a car that's affordable for everyone.
Where the heck are we gonna charge them? It doesn't seem we have nearly enough public charging stations.
This is where the infrastructure bill that's just passed is a good thing.
Over $7 billion for Yeah, but that's half of what President Biden wanted.
- Is that a blow to the EV industry? - Look, I'll take it.
- I think it's all positive news.
- You'll take it.
So have you met with anyone in Congress.
We've got great relationships with many people on Capitol Hill.
Well, people like Senator Manchin you know, comes from a big coal state.
What's his attitude? Have you met with him about this? He loves driving the Lucid Air.
We've driven Lucid Air around Washington, D.
And he's a big fan.
He said it's better than his Maserati.
Right now, electric cars are only 5% of sales in the U.
It's a little bit more in Europe.
And in China, 17%, 19%.
Why are Americans less enthusiastic about electric cars do you think? Range anxiety.
I think there is something in the American psyche as an outsider, I observe, about this mythical road trip and, "How am I gonna charge for this road trip?" Now, with over 500 miles range, we've finally put to bed range anxiety.
You went public this year, raised a lot of money.
But before that, you were funded primarily by the Saudi public investment fund.
And even after your stock has traded, they still own 60%, right? That's right.
Does that make you a state-owned entity? I wouldn't look at it that way.
Well, but a Saudi fund owns 60% of your company.
We're an American company.
We're trading on the Nasdaq.
We're a public company.
And they have a majority position in the company.
Do you worry though that a country with some significant human rights violations is a big investor? I think we've got to look at the big picture here, Joann.
I think that the entire world is facin' an environmental crisis.
And here we have a country which has really grown to its position through its fossil fuel wealth having the foresight to invest in this new green, environmental-friendly endeavor.
The CIA determined that Saudi Arabian crown prince was behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Doesn't that bother you at all? I unequivocally condemn what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.
We all do.
But this is about making electric cars and benefiting the future of mankind.
And that's the business I'm in, not politics.
A seat at the table / Cherokee representation? In 2019, Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr.
moved to enforce a nearly 200-year-old treaty for the first time and named Kim Teehee as the delegate to Congress from the Cherokee Nation.
Tahlequah, OK The 1835 Treaty of New Echota that guaranteed the Cherokee a delegate also led to the Cherokee people's forced removal from their ancestral lands on the Trail of Tears.
Kim Teehee has yet to be seated by the House of Representatives.
Chief Hoskin, Kim Teehee, thank you for joining us.
Kim, the chief appointed you to be the first delegate.
What would your role be in Congress? It would be a nonvoting delegate.
And nonvoting delegates get to serve on committees.
They get to introduce legislation, to vote in committees.
But they can't vote on final passage.
And that's the only real distinction.
I know there's some critics that will say, "The Cherokee Nation already has two representatives in Congress from Oklahoma.
Wouldn't this give them more power than the rest of us?" No.
Here here's why.
Because delegates are not members of Congress.
It would be almost like an ambassadorship.
And in my case, it would be my delegate position representing the Cherokee Nation's governmental interests in the body of the House of Representatives.
And, Chief, this treaty was signed in 1835.
Why has it taken nearly 200 years to get to this point? - You can imagine Cherokees having- - face down a trauma in which they lost a quarter of their fellow countrymen.
Asserting every detail of that treaty was not on their minds.
It was surviving.
It was rebuilding.
It makes sense today to look back at our treaties and see what provisions we have not yet put into effect because of historical events.
Should President Biden be more outspoken about this? The president of the United States agreed to this 180 years ago.
The United States Senate did its job 180 years ago.
There's one part of the government left to take action.
That's the United States House of Representatives.
What signals have they given that they support this proposal and they're ready to move quickly on it? There's been bipartisan support for this treaty right.
There's also been bipartisan support for ignoring treaty obligations.
Ignoring treaty obligations and sovereignty knows no party, and championing sovereignty knows no party.
Republicans may take over the House in 2022.
Are you concerned about that? I'm not in part because I'm an optimist and in part because I've talked to Republican members of Congress.
When I talk about my love for this country and that this country is at its best when it keeps its word, I truly think it resonates with them.
You have Representative Tom Cole say he thought getting it done was, quote, "A long way away.
" Two years later, what's your reaction to that? You know, I disagree.
I have, you know, nearly a dozen years of experience of working in the House of Representatives, and I understand it's a body that's governed by rules.
And I think as long as we are willing to proactively continue to keep the ball moving, we'll get there.
I've talked to some members of the Oglala Lakota Nation.
They say the Black Hills was stolen from them.
This is of course the home of Mount Rushmore.
They are asking, demanding the administration today give land back.
Do you support the federal government giving land back that was stolen to tribes? I think there's still some discussions that need to take place.
They feel that there was a great injustice and that they deserve their land back, and they are right to feel that way.
I don't think anybody else can stand in their shoes and tell them that that's not the case.
Would you support legislation for that? I'd have to see what the legislation looks like.
But they've been patient, just like you guys have been patient.
- 180 years.
- Exactly.
Yeah, you can understand why they're upset.
I am absolutely sympathetic to the history of the great Sioux Nation.
But I would want to work with them directly.
There are some tribal nations that still make a lot of money from oil and gas revenue.
The federal government right now is considering climate change policies.
Do you support, however, that tribal nations still make up their own mind whether they drill or not regardless of federal policy? Tribes absolutely have the right to determine what's best for their communities and their constituencies.
I do believe when it comes to decisions like extractive industry that there are other stakeholder interests at play.
And so there's gotta be a way to respect tribal self-determination but also balancing the interest of the other stakeholders.
So when the U.
government is thinking about its climate policy, we should be negotiating with tribal nations like we negotiate with China? Sure.
And, Chief, in 2020 Indigenous people in New Mexico and Arizona really came out strong for the Democrats and Joe Biden.
If the Democratic-controlled House does not act on this proposal, should there be a price to pay? I think any congressional leader or any president who campaigns on being pro-tribal sovereignty and goes back on such a basic promise, they're gonna be on the opposite side of me and they're gonna be on the opposite side of history.
And there'll be a consequence for that.
This should be working now.
See if that see if that does it.
Try pressing the Oculus button.
I saw it.
- You briefly saw the future? - No, I just saw the Oculus Are you having Should we turn it off and on? The system thought you were very, very, very tall.
That's the first time that's ever happened, I I can assure you.
Well, mine is having trouble loading the room.
It's a comedy of errors in here.
- You're right over there.
- We did it.
The only thing that's funny now is your audio is spatializing to there.
And I'm sure my audio isn't quite correct for you.
So there are some quirks about doing the metaverse.

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