Among the standout moments of the Time 100 event were John Legend’s thoughts on AI-generated music content. In his conversation with TIME Senior Correspondent Charlotte Alter, he said technology’s latest infringement on creativity didn’t threaten him as the key component to making timeless music is being able to connect to audiences through story, craft, and performance. “AI can’t really do that, and I think that’ll be job protection for us,” he said. But he did express that regulations should be put in place when it comes to using artists’ voices. “AI is going to be a part of our lives and will be something that augments our own intelligence, and that’s fine, but when it comes to using someone’s likeness or intellectual property, I believe our rights should still be protected,” he said. The “Green Light” singer also paid tribute to the “powerful, revolutionary life” of the late Harry Belafonte as news of his death silenced the room.
Hollywood legend Steven Speilberg used his opening slot of the day’s conversations to focus on preserving art in its originally intended form. “For me, it’s sacrosanct…I do not believe in censorship that way,” he said. He pointed to the recent decision to remove language that could be considered offensive from the latest editions of Roald Dahl’s childhood favorites, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as unacceptable. “Nobody should ever take the chocolate out of Willy Wonka, and they shouldn’t take the chocolate or the vanilla or any other flavor out of anything that’s been written,” Spielberg said
House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi was also on hand to discuss President Joe Biden’s bid for reelection and put to bed doubt about whether he has the full support of the Democratic Party. “In terms of the Democrats, I know a little bit about that because I go to their meetings all over,” she said. “And yes, they’d rather he be younger. But they’re all for him. … There’s little, shall we say, sidebar stuff, but by and large, people understand there’s so much at stake in this election that it’s really important for us to go full strength, full strength Joe Biden.”
Her feelings were shared by SKIMS founder and reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who was one of TIME’s 2015 Most Influential People. In her conversation with CNN Anchor Poppy Harlow, the mother of four said she “would love” to meet with the president to discuss criminal justice and commutations—something she’s become passionate about using her platform for. “Once I saw that I was able to make a difference, I couldn’t stop there, and I realized there were so many other people to help,” Kardashian said.