CEO and Co-Founder of Palantir Technologies, Alexander Karp announced that the organization is establishing The Palantir Foundation for Defense and International Affairs. The foundation is a nonpartisan organization that is focused on advancing national security, particularly through academic and technical research. They will also support emerging technologies and policy development.
Karp, who is also the foundation’s chairman, stated in the announcement that Palantir’s “software is now in the fight around the world, supporting American and allied soldiers and intelligence operatives on the front lines.” But he says that software can be used as a weapon too. While he advocates for Palantir software as a means to fight the enemy, he says that “we also understand that the public discourse about the appropriate use of such software is as critical as its construction.” Palantir plans for the foundation to be a way to move that discussion forward.
The Palantir Foundation
The Palantir Foundation shares on their website, “We believe that the most significant technology and resources of our time should be directed towards solving the world’s most pressing challenges, including how best to leverage technology for our collective defense and security.” They plan to offer academic research, conferences, a journal, and fellowships as the means to accomplish these goals.
Offerings for the foundation
The foundation is planning for four key offerings.
1. Academic Research
The Palantir Foundation will sponsor post-graduate researchers in information technology, the physical sciences, philosophy, law, and international affairs. Applicants just need to submit to foundation to be considered for the position.
Palantir plans to host an annual conference in Washington D.C. as a way to bring together leaders from industry and government. Palantir has played a role within the defense agencies and Intelligence Community (IC) – as well as, the institutions that support them. Palantir believes that U.S. companies should give the best technology to their government. The dates for the inaugural conference will be announced this year.
Palantir is planning for a publication beginning this year, but interested writers can submit to them now with unpublished articles. The journal will focus on provocative commentary and essays on national security and international affairs, giving a platform for discourse and thought.
Palantir plans to support exceptional undergraduate and graduate students who are working in software, defense policy, and international affairs. They plan to offer grants for more educational and professional opportunities. Applicants can submit their information to the foundation to be considered.
The Case for Discussion
Palantir acknowledges the conditions of national security. While they may offer tools as the solution to the myriad of problems in national security, they highlight the need for discussion around the technology topic. One of the ways to advance technology and address concerns is to get everyone in the same room talking. Of course, it’s not just about the talking either. Promoting exceptional talent with either research grants or career opportunities can be a means in advancing capabilities.