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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Palantir chief opposes letter to pause development of AI

Head of Palantir, Alex Karp believes many people are asking for a halt in the technology's development due to lack of product

By Web Desk
June 09, 2023
Head of Palantir Alex Karp. — AFP/File
Head of Palantir Alex Karp. — AFP/File 

As some of the biggest names in the AI industry have called for a pause in the technology in an open letter from the Future of Life Institute, the head of Palantir, Alex Karp, is against the notion of a hiatus in AI development.

The letter, which has more than 31,000 signatories and includes names like Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, called for a halt to AI research on models bigger than GPT-4, which powers applications like ChatGPT, CNBC reported.

Additionally, the letter said that if “such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium.”

While talking to BBC Radio in an interview broadcast Thursday, Karp said he believes that “many of the people asking for a pause are asking for a pause because they have no product.”

"This is because people who have nothing to offer want to study AI, but by taking a pause, this could lead to adversaries stealing a lead in not only commercial applications but also military applications," he added, keeping the names anonymous.

He believes that it is a terrible tactic to "learn this and let other people prevail both in commercial areas and on the battlefield."

Karp simply responded, "There is already an AI arms race; it's just that we're ahead, and it's not like if we slow down, the AI race would stop," when asked whether what he desired was an "AI race" comparable to the arms race of the Cold War.

Furthermore, he emphasised that the use of AI in military applications, rather than the use of big language models like GPT-4, is the "single most crucial event" in this race.

Karp also underlined the fact that Ukrainian soldiers have used Palantir technologies to outsmart Russian invaders in terms of technology.

According to a December 2022 report in The Times, despite having relatively fewer artillery units, Palantir's AI had enabled Ukraine to boost the precision, speed, and timeliness of its artillery strikes.

Palantir provides software to public and private sector organisations so they can analyse massive amounts of data.

According to Karp, the introduction of this AI-powered weaponry "basically puts down a challenge to every single government on the globe."

"And so, the race is on. There’s only one question: do we stay ahead or do we cede the lead?” he added.