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10 Apr 2023

Eric J. Savitz, Baron's

Palantir CEO comments on applying AI to warfare & AI dangers to humanity

"Palantir Plans AI Platform for Military and Commercial Customers," 10 April 2023

Palantir Technologies is jumping into the artificial intelligence fray, and it has some particular thoughts on how the technology might be applied to military uses. The data analytics software company, which provides systems for managing large datasets to both government and corporate customers, disclosed in a letter Friday from CEO Alex Karp that the company will "shortly" release "our new Artificial Intelligence Platform," or AIP...

...The letter highlighted some examples of how the system might be used in a military context.

For instance, Karp posited that an intelligence analyst working for an allied nation in Europe could ask "Which of our special forces units are closest to enemy tank positions and have sufficient supplies of Javelin missiles to mount an offensive? And which specific tanks on the battlefield are most vulnerable to attack?" ...

...Karp also addressed the dangers Al poses to humanity.

"The risks of these emerging artificial intelligence capabilities to individual rights, and even perhaps to our own physical safety, are significant and apparent to most," he writes. "It may be the case that consciousness or self-awareness is not the result of a discrete or specific set of relationships within a network of connections, such as the human brain, but rather merely an emergent property of a sufficiently complex system."

But Karp is opposed to a pause in the development of Al software, an idea laid out in a recent open letter signed by many technologists and entrepreneurs. "Some have called for a pause on efforts to develop even more powerful versions of these emerging technologies, hoping perhaps that our adversaries will join us in considered reflection on the capabilities of such systems and their accompanying risks," he wrote...