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Robert Downey Jr. to use robotics, AI to clean the Earth

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    Robert Downey Jr. to use robotics, AI to clean the Earth

    Robert Downey Jr. will use robotics, AI to clean the Earth - Business Insider

    Robert Downey Jr. doesn't pretend to be a brilliant scientist — even though he's played Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, for the past 11 years.

    But on Tuesday night he attended Amazon's new open-to-the-public Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space (re:MARS) tech conference in Las Vegas — a room filled with artificial-intelligence legends, astronauts, and other dignitaries — as a keynote speaker.

    He delivered a gag-filled talk that somehow weaved together the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the evolution of Stark's Iron Man suits, allusions to his own troubled history with drug addiction, and the actual history of artificial intelligence and its pioneers, along with a bunch of jokes using the Amazon Alexa voice and Matt Damon (including a videotaped guest appearance by Damon).

    And just when the crowd thought Downey was just there to entertain, he got the audience to cheer: At the end of his talk he announced that he was launching a new initiative called Footprint Coalition.
    Well that was unexpected.
  • #2

    I had heard about this. I do like that he's taking some of that money he's made and putting it towards something worthwhile. Though, I do wonder about his time table. I think he might be a bit on the optimistic side if he thinks he can clean up the planet in 10 years. Still, any progress in preserving the planet is always good.
    Daryn's Signature



    “Just when you think humanity has found the limits of stupid, they go and ratchet up the standard by another notch.” - Bob

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    • #3

      Originally posted by Daryn View Post
      I had heard about this. I do like that he's taking some of that money he's made and putting it towards something worthwhile. Though, I do wonder about his time table. I think he might be a bit on the optimistic side if he thinks he can clean up the planet in 10 years. Still, any progress in preserving the planet is always good.
      Over-optimistic perhaps, but definitely noble!

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      • #4

        Wow! Yeah, this does seem optimistic, but hey, I'd take optimistic action over pessimistic inaction any day! At least some good may come of this, even if it's just a bit more awareness on the issue thanks to a big name being attached to it.

        I'm intrigued by how it might actually work though. When I think of AI cleaning up plastic from the ocean, I can only think of small swimming drones, and there are definitely plenty of things that will try to eat those...

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        • #5

          Originally posted by SliceOfDog View Post
          I'm intrigued by how it might actually work though. When I think of AI cleaning up plastic from the ocean, I can only think of small swimming drones, and there are definitely plenty of things that will try to eat those...
          AI has been helping out in scientific research (one recent example being fusion reactor simulation), so it could involve R&D for things like engineered microbes to eat plastic microparticles or figuring out where the bulk of it is taken by oceanic currents (which would allow setting up filtration in a more efficient manner). Stuff like that might be on the table too.

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          • #6

            Originally posted by Rusakov View Post
            AI has been helping out in scientific research (one recent example being fusion reactor simulation), so it could involve R&D for things like engineered microbes to eat plastic microparticles or figuring out where the bulk of it is taken by oceanic currents (which would allow setting up filtration in a more efficient manner). Stuff like that might be on the table too.
            Aah, I hadn't thought of that! Yeah, that sounds great! God, I really do hope we can get our act together in the coming decades and sort out the planet - at the very least to the point where our future survival on it is no longer in question...

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            • #7

              Originally posted by SliceOfDog View Post
              God, I really do hope we can get our act together in the coming decades and sort out the planet - at the very least to the point where our future survival on it is no longer in question...
              You and me both! O.O

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