According to a statement, the still-untitled series will feature “some of the brightest minds in science, philosophy, technology, engineering, medicine, futurism, entertainment and the arts” in eight one-hour long episodes that Downey will host and narrate. The Downeys’ production company, Team Downey, is partnering with Network Entertainment (I Am Heath Ledger, Johnny Cash: American Rebel) and Sonar Entertainment (Mr. Mercedes, Taboo).
“Robert and I share a curiosity for AI, a complicated and often polarizing subject,” said Susan Downey in a statement. “Our aim is to explore AI through a lens of objectivity and accessibility, in a thoroughly bold, splashy, and entertaining way.”
Downey’s AI show is a notable get for the subscription-based YouTube Red, which is still finding its footing among streaming competitors Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has said that pumping billions into original programming in an attempt to top its rivals isn’t the goal for YouTube Red, the subscription service recently enjoyed its biggest hit to date with Cobrai Kai, a sequel to the Karate Kid franchise that reunites Ralph Macchio with William Zabka. While not quite a phenomenon on the level of Stranger Things, the 10-episode series received positive reviews and was renewed for a second season. (YouTube says the first episode has generated more than 20 million views.)
How will the AI docu-series fare with viewers? The star power of Downey is a plus, and eight hours allows for a more in-depth exploration of AI than the recent 78-minute, Elon Musk-endorsed documentary Do You Trust This…