Palantir CEO Touts Power of AI at Customer Conference

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(Bloomberg) -- Palantir Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Alex Karp said new AI developments at his company are so powerful that “I’m not sure we should even sell this to some of our clients.”

Palantir’s stock has been on a run for weeks after the company described demand for its artificial intelligence products as unprecedented — despite its having no pricing strategy and offering few specifics.

Palantir plans to provide more details on Thursday at an event in Palo Alto, California, featuring customers that are using its technology along with its own executives. During an interview with Bloomberg TV prior to the event, Karp said the 19-year-old company still has not developed a pricing plan.

“I know we have the best product in the market and I know customers will pay us fairly,” the CEO said. When it comes to AI tools, he said, “This is an infinite market.”

Palantir’s artificial intelligence platform, which it calls AIP, is a new product, but the company’s software for aggregating and analyzing data has included aspects of AI for years. Commercial customers including Airbus SE use predictive analytics to anticipate early maintenance problems, while defense forces in the US and Ukraine use Palantir’s AI to interpret satellite images. In military contexts, AI could be useful for distinguishing images of, say, a hospital from a military compound. Information is fed into Palantir’s larger software program to provide situational awareness to military commanders making battlefield decisions.

Some industry critics have voiced concern about the use of AI in military contexts. Karp stressed that the US should be the one to pioneer those systems, rather than its global rivals.

“Are these things dangerous?” he said. “Yes, but either we will wield them or our adversaries will.” Palantir has been providing its software to Ukraine, which is still locked in a war with Russia. Asked whether its AI systems work, Karp responded: “Ask the Russians.”

Karp did not quantify the increase in demand, but said that the number of inbound calls from customers that the company normally gets over the course of the year, it got “in, like, a month.”

Some in tech, including people like Elon Musk who have participated in the development of AI, have called for a slowdown of its development while guardrails can be put in place to ensure that the technology is safe. Karp dismissed the idea of a pause on development. “We have lots of people who don’t want to roll this out because they have nothing to roll out,” he said.

Thursday’s all-day event is slated to feature executives from current Palantir AI customers, including Molson Coors Beverage Co., Cardinal Health Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp., all of which are using some type of Palantir AI-powered product.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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