New Letter by Palantir: Software and War
A Letter from the Chief Executive Officer
December 30, 2022 The role our software is playing in the world often, by necessity, remains far from public view. This month, however, two newspapers, the Washington Post and the Times of London, published articles about the use of our software in Ukraine.
“The Ukrainians are fusing their courageous fighting spirit with the most advanced intelligence and battle-management software ever seen in combat,” writes David Ignatius of the Washington Post. (The second part of his two-part series can be found here.) George Grylls of the Times of London adds, “Those who have witnessed the AI in action have been left in no doubt about its revolutionary power.”
The stories offer accounts of the dramatic shift in the way wars are now fought, underscoring the moral and philosophical questions that arise from deploying a software system that can systematically identify and eliminate an enemy from afar.
We acknowledge that the ethical challenges that the use of our software raises are significant. But the stakes could not be higher, and the costs of inaction are real. Our collective experiment with democratic governance remains a remarkably fragile one and requires a shared commitment to something more than the self.
Those using our platforms in the defense and intelligence context, for reconnaissance, targeting, and other purposes, require the best weapons that we can build.
And we have never been inclined to wait on the sidelines while others risk their lives. The software platforms that we have built are used by soldiers and intelligence operatives in the United States as well as allied nations in Europe and around the world.
Some companies find ways to work with our adversaries. We have beliefs and have chosen a side.
Those on the front lines, and in the arena, will bend the arc of history. And our software is in the fight. Sincerely, Alexander C. Karp Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder Palantir Technologies Inc.