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Robert Downey Jr. pledges to use robotics and AI to clean the Earth

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Hollywood legend Robert Downey Jr. is putting down his Iron Man suit and taking up the bigger challenge of cleaning up the Earth.

Iron Man’s on-screen nemesis Thanos had a radical way of reducing humanity’s impact on the Earth, but Downey Jr. hopes to use a more humane solution.

Appearing on-stage at Amazon’s new re:MARS (Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space) conference in Las Vegas, Downey Jr. launched an initiative called Footprint Coalition.

“I don’t pretend to understand the complexities we face as a species, just because I portrayed a genius in my professional life. My scholastic achievement peaked at a correctional finishing,” Downey Jr. joked, in reference to being incarcerated on drug charges and never making it past high school.

“On the flip side, I did play and interesting and iconic character for 11 years, Tony Stark,” he added, saying he liked how Stark went from a “soulless war profiteer to a man who was willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the community.”

Footprint Coalition aims to use robotics and AI in a bid to clean up the Earth and reverse humanity’s carbon footprint. The coalition aims to achieve its goal in a decade.

“Recently, I was at a table with super smart, impressive, expert folks about six months ago, and the following statement was made: ‘between robotics and technology, we could probably clean up the planet significantly, if not entirely within a decade,’”

“Being essentially a 54-year-old child, I said ‘Let’s do it! Let’s commit to a process, let’s form a coalition,’” explained Downey Jr. “I know it’s a kumbaya-type dream. It’s a logistical clusterfuck.”

While the goal of Downey Jr. and the Footprint Coalition sounds ambitious, it’s needed. Scientists warn 2035 is the ‘point of no return’ when it comes to climate change.

Downey Jr. is the first to admit that it’s early days for the Footprint Coalition, and it will take some more technical people to explain how it’s going to work. The coalition’s website is still under construction as of writing, but we’ll be following the project closely.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and their use cases? Attend the co-located AI & Big Data Expo events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam to learn more. Co-located with the IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo.

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