Palantir CEO Alex Karp talks AI and the company’s ‘critical role’ in warfare

At AIPCon, at a special invite-only event hosted by Palantir Technologies (PLTR), CEO Alex Karp outlined how the company can apply lessons learned in the context of war to drive business and productivity growth. driving.

Karp emphasized that their relationship with the US government continues: The US Department of Defense recently revealed a five-year $ 480 million contract with Palantir to work on a project called Maven to develop an intelligent system that will provide war fighters and intelligence analysts faster and more accurate on the battlefield for tasks such as identifying enemy targets.

“This country is focused on using AI to have a structural advantage in how we deploy and understand the battlefield,” Karp told Yahoo Finance (video above) at AIPCon in downtown Palo Alto, Calif. “And Palantir plays a critical role in that area. .”

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: Alex Karp, CEO, Palantir Technologies speaks on stage during

Palantir Technologies CEO Alex Karp speaks at a forum on AI security on May 1, 2024, in Washington, DC (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Jacob Helberg) (Tasos Katopodis via Getty Images)

Hundreds of people gathered on Thursday to participate in the data analytics firm’s event that highlighted its Artificial Intelligence Platform, or AIP.

More than 70 customers are scheduled to speak to the crowd about how they are integrating and leveraging Palantir’s artificial intelligence tools in their businesses. At the same time, Palantir engineers spent time sitting side by side with customers, collaborating on what they could build with the software.

Some of the companies that participated included United Airlines (UAL), Lear (LEA), and Wendy’s (WEN), to name a few.

“I’m not getting paid to do a presentation,” Karp said, referring to those customers who were speaking at AIPCon. “The reason they’re there is because they’re like, ‘Wow, I really didn’t believe this could work. And now he’s doing really well.’”

The Denver-based software company has hosted more than 1,300 of these conferences in the US and around the world. The events helped power Palantir’s US commercial revenue, which rose 40% year over year in the first quarter to $150 million.

Palo Alto, CA, USA - April 30, 2022: Exterior view of the Palantir office in Palo Alto, California.  Palantir Technologies is an American software company that specializes in big data analytics.Palo Alto, CA, USA - April 30, 2022: Exterior view of the Palantir office in Palo Alto, California.  Palantir Technologies is an American software company that specializes in big data analytics.

Palo Alto, CA, USA – April 30, 2022: Exterior view of the Palantir office in Palo Alto, California. Palantir Technologies is an American software company that specializes in big data analytics. (courtesy of Getty Images)

John Couris, president and CEO of Florida Health Sciences Center, which includes Tampa General Hospital, attended the conference today, as his hospital recently announced a deal with Palantir to leverage its AI software.

Specifically, the hospital will deploy Palantir’s AIP to build a new Care Coordination Operating System, which will help hospital staff make faster decisions about bed placements and staff allocation while improving clinical outcomes d patients.

“It will improve care, clinical outcomes, and the patient experience,” Couris said. “It will do that by making our physicians more efficient and effective, by making our nurses and allied health professionals more efficient and effective, and it will help our administrators lead their organizations in a very different way.”

Palantir has gained momentum with commercial clients, but in the near future, the company became known for its work with Washington and the US intelligence community, including the CIA.

The company was co-founded in 2004 by Karp, billionaire Peter Thiel, and 8VC managing partner Joe Lonsdale. Its name is derived from a magical crystal ball described in JRR Tolkien’s novel, “The Lord of the Rings.”

Palantir engineers have created software that allows customers to import volumes of data from images to spreadsheets into a central system where it can then be securely analyzed and interpreted with maps and charts.

“We’re allowing us through our software to allow other software and hardware companies to work off our platform,” Karp said of the company’s work with the US government. “So this is not just a win for Palantir … This is really a win for the technology ecosystem that powers this nation.”

While Palantir is best known for selling software to the US government and its allies, it’s the traction the company is seeing on the enterprise side that has won over some Wall Street investors and financial analysts.

Jefferies analyst Brent Thill said he is encouraged by improvements in Palantir’s fundamentals and business, particularly the strength in its AI business.

“I think these mini bootcamps that they’re doing are getting more at bats for them,” Till said of AIPCon, “meaning, they’re getting more customer commitments now while doing less. [software] installs. And that means higher velocity for the company.”

Thill currently has a Hold recommendation on the stock due to valuation concerns.

“It’s one of the more expensive names we cover,” he said.

Some argue that AI now represents a historic shift for the technology sector and the economy in general – a new megatrend that will protect and redefine business and economic development. Nvidia (NVDA) CEO Jensen Huang, for example, recently said that “the next industrial revolution has begun.”

Karp is clearly confident about his own company’s role and leadership in this AI moment.

“Come in and talk to our 70 customers,” he said, referring to those present at today’s conference. “They think they’ve won.”

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