Robert Downey Jr. to Host Series on AI for YouTube Red

The hour-long episodes will debut next year

The untitled series will explore AI’s impact on how it has transformed our everyday lives. Getty Images
Headshot of Sara Jerde

YouTube ordered a new series on artificial intelligence that will be hosted and narrated by actor Robert Downey Jr. Google-owned YouTube Red will release the eight hour-long episodes next year.

The untitled series will explore AI’s impact on how it has transformed our everyday lives.

“We are excited to be in business with the smart creative minds behind this innovative new series,” said Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content, in a statement. “There is so much to discover, and this series will take us on a fascinating journey as we explore the exciting developments in the world of AI and glimpse into the future.”

The series will be executive-produced by Team Downey partners Downey Jr. and Susan Downey; Network Entertainment’s Derik Murray and Paul Gertz; and Sonar Entertainment’s Jenna Santoianni and Tom Lesinski.

Susan Downey said in a statement that she and husband Downey Jr. share a “curiosity” for AI, which was put on a display a couple years ago when Downey Jr. remarked on Facebook that he would voice Mark Zuckerberg’s digital assistant. Zuckerberg said that people could think of it like Jarvis, the Iron Man character. Immediately, fans suggested Benedict Cumberbatch and Paul Bettany—until the Iron Man actor himself weighed in.

It's time to give my AI Jarvis a voice. Who should I ask to do it?

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, October 13, 2016

“I’ll do in a heartbeat if Bettany gets paid and donates it to a cause of Cumberbatch’s choosing … that’s the right kind of STRANGE!” Downey commented on Zuckerberg’s Facebook post.

A YouTube Red subscription costs $9.99 per month and includes access to YouTube’s music service, as well as YouTube Red Original movies and series.

Team Downey is also producing upcoming film The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, and he has several other productions in TV, including Perry Mason at HBO and an adaption of Karen Russell’s novel Swamplandia! at Hulu.


@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.
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