Robert Downey Jr. and Leonardo DiCaprio both have million-dollar ventures in the AI industry.
Now that NFTs have come smashing down to earth, AI has become the biggest investment hype train — with the added benefit that AI can actually be used for things! As with every much-hyped tech trend these days, celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon and hoping to make money. Fox News reports that Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr., and several other celebrities are heavily involved in Artificial intelligence investing.
Leonardo DiCaprio, best known for his work in movies such as Inception, Titanic, and The Wolf of Wall Street, has become involved in AI as part of the environmental fund Regeneration VC, which he serves as a strategic advisor for. The fund, which says it specializes in “supercharging consumer-powered climate innovation,” invested in an AI-focused recycling company called Greyparrot. The fund jumped in to save Greyparrot by investing $1.6 million after a different investor fell through.
Greyparrot’s goal is to use AI to help improve recycling automation so that less material goes to waste. Their product, which Leonardo DiCaprio’s fund is now heavily invested in, purports to use an AI-powered system to determine how much valuable material can be found within waste that is being processed. It is reportedly designed to be retrofitted into recycling plants’ already-existing infrastructure, meaning that companies don’t need to change much to start using the AI model.
Like Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr. is using a venture fund to invest in environmentally-focused AI systems, though the MCU actor has been heavily involved in AI investment for years. Downey Jr. launched his fund, called Footprint Coalition, during a 2019 AI conference hosted by Amazon. During the conference, he stated that AI gave him hope for humanity’s ability to repair the environment.
Robert Downey Jr.’s fund is currently investing in ClimateAI, an AI modeling tool that hopes to determine what the weather will be months, or even years, in advance. It also is investing in multiple non-AI companies that promise to provide environmentally-friendly products, such as electric conversions to classic cars and more environmentally-friendly cooking oils. Recently, they have promoted a team of MIT researchers who are attempting to create electric engines powerful enough to be put on airplanes.
Along with Robert Downey Jr. and Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher is getting involved in AI through his own venture capital firm, Sound Ventures. However, this firm is less focused on the environment and more focused on some of the more high-profile AI releases. Kutcher’s firm has invested in OpenAI, the company that is responsible for creating ChatGPT, along with stability.ai, the company that made the image generation model StableDiffusion.
Black Eyed Peas artist Will.i.am is also getting involved in AI, but unlike Ashton Kutcher, Robert Downey Jr., and Leonardo DiCaprio, he’s not using a venture fund to do it. Rather, he has founded the technology company i.am+, which hopes to create a community of coders and creative artists that will “usher in a powerful new era built on AI.” His company is currently creating “Omega,” which hopes to create “conversational user experiences” on their devices.