When the Ukraine-Russia war started, a Silicon Valley CEO sent an open letter to European leaders offering help to modernize military strategies by integrating artificial intelligence (AI). So, is this the future of the military?

In his open letter, Alexander Karp, CEO of data analytics company Palantir, wrote that many global conflicts are stepping from contradictions and misinformation.

“A lack of genuine interest in shifts in national ambitions and capabilities can be fatal to those who would rather impose their view of the appropriate arc of history onto history’s disjointed path than investigate its complexity.”

As he said, they rejected the assumption that the state would have to vilify civilian privacy just to get accurate data and information. Karp said many “broadly assumed that the only way to effectively combat terrorism was to build software platforms that would assist the state in gathering every shred of information and evidence about its citizens without any concern for their rights.

Alexander Karp
Alex Karp, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Palantir Technologies, USA speaking at the Annual Meeting 2017 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 19, 2017 (Source: World Economic Forum/Flickr)

Karp believes there are new software technologies that would allow states to effectively and accurately provide informed decisions from ethically sourced data. He also calls for urgent attention to technology, most especially AI.

“An embrace of the relationship between technology and the state, between disruptive companies that seek to dislodge the grip of entrenched contractors and the federal government ministries with funding, will be required for Europe and its allies to remain strong enough to defeat the threat of foreign occupation.”

Whether it was Karp’s open letter or other factors, Europe has now embraced the notion of advanced technological development and AI in their military branches and defense.

Last June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders and ministers of the 22 allied countries signed NATO’s Innovation Fund. This has become the world’s first multi-sovereign venture capital fund.