The seed of Jerseyan Peter McHale’s forestry data startup was planted when he overheard a colleague, Matthew Carpenter, discussing his chess-playing robot. Today, they’ve got a novel business model: The use of artificial intelligence tools similar to those used in self-driving vehicles to capture and process the data hidden in forest canopies. In their view, the idea could boost the timber industry’s bottom lines while also addressing climate change. Their company, Gaia AI, which was spun out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently moved from Massachusetts to New Jersey. They’re bringing the backing of investors with them, after recently concluding a $3 million pre-seed funding round. McHale was in Sweden visiting with some of the largest timber companies in the world, and said the industries rooted in the forestry sector are excited about what the now Newark-based startup has to offer.