As you may know, Tony Stark, without his suit, is a self-proclaimed “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist.”
Nowadays, it’s looking more and more like Robert Downey Jr. wants to follow in the footsteps of his signature character.
He may not share all of the aforementioned qualities with Stark – after all, he’s not a billionaire quite yet. However, it appears he does want to save the world – with nanotech and artificial intelligence. And that right there is very much in line with the role he’s assumed for over 10 years now.
In a quest to help save the planet from climate change, the 54-year-old actor is launching The Footprint Coalition.
He hasn’t yet explained all the details, like how it will work or what partners may be involved. And the website is currently just a landing page where people can sign up to eventually learn more. Though he did say his organization will utilize robotics and nanotechnology in an effort to clean up the earth.
“Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years,” Downey Jr. told attendees of Amazon’s Re:MARS conference. He noted that he’d gleaned this insight from several experts, lightheartedly adding: “God I love experts. They’re like Wikipedia with character defects.”
The launch date for the group is scheduled for April 2020.
The actor’s announcement came following his keynote speech at the Las Vegas conference on Tuesday evening. In his talk, he discussed his career, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how the Iron Man character evolved, and more. Amazon assistant Alexa made a cameo during the speech, as did Matt Damon via video.
One primary focus of Downey Jr.’s talk was AI, which he described it as a significant development. Better yet, he believes it’s one that could provide answers for a planet on the brink of disaster.
“I have this quiet sense of crisis,” he said of climate change, noting that he’s contributed to it, too. “I’m a one-man carbon footprint nightmare colossus.”
But modern technological advancements, he says, give him hope.
Artificial intelligence seems to be a subject close to Stark’s – err, Downey Jr.’s – heart.
He has taken the subject well beyond his character before, too. Along with his wife Susan Downey, he has also worked on a docu-series regarding the topic for YouTube Red. Both are executive producers for the eight-episode series that explores the transformative impact AI can have on the population.
Additionally, Downey Jr. acts as a host for the series, providing narration for each of the hour-long episodes.
“Robert and I share a curiosity for A.I., a complicated and often polarizing subject,” his wife explained when speaking about the project. “Our aim is to explore A.I. through a lens of objectivity and accessibility, in a thoroughly bold, splashy, and entertaining way.”