Palantir Makes Clear That Its Aggressively Marketed Systems May Not Work as Advertised

December 21, 2022

The real journalists at the Wall Street Journal has made painfully clear that Palantir’s smart software and sophisticated platform for functioning like the seeing stone in Lord of the Rings does not work.

You can read the real news analysis in “Palantir Misfires on Revenue Tied SPAC Deals.” The main point of the write up is that Palantir, equipped with proprietary technology and oodles of seeing stone expert, lost a great deal of money quickly.

The article says:

The bets have backfired.

So what? No big deal. Tens of millions gone, maybe hundreds of millions. The bigger loss is the exposure of the shortcomings of smart software. What did Palantir’s spokesperson say:

The market has turned an it is now clear that these investments were unsuccessful. It was a bet on a group of early stage companies that, with the benefit of hindsight, we wish we did not make.

But Palantir’s marketing since the firm open for intelligence analysis in 2003 or almost two decades ago has pitched the system’s ability to reveal what ordinary intelware cannot identify. In my files, I have some Palantir marketing material. Here’s an example:


Who doesn’t want data sovereignty? ©Palantir Technologies

Several observations:

  1. The Palantir management team presumably had access to Gotham and other Palantir technology. But the Palantir system did deliver massive financial losses. Some seeing stone.
  2. In my opinion, Palantir made big bets in order to get a big payoff so that the company’s financial strength and the excellence of its smart software would be evident. What’s evident is that even Palantir’s software and its wizards cannot get the Palantir systems to be right about “bets.”
  3. Intelware and policeware vendors typically sell to government and selected financial services customers. Converting intelligence software tuned to the needs of a three letter agency has not worked in the past, and it is now evident Palantir may be failing in its commercial push now.
  4. Intelware works because no matter how slick the intelware is, governments also rely on old fashioned methods before taking action.
  5. Palantir’s technology is almost 20 years old, based on open source, and highly derivative. There are better, faster, and cheaper options available from Palantir’s competitors.

Net net: Palantir has embraced full throttle marketing. The company has done some interesting things regarding the IBM Analysts Notebook file formats. Palantir’s investment were, in my opinion, investments which made it attractive to the recipients of Palantir’s funds to become Palantir customers. As I write this, Palantir’s marketing is chugging along, but Palantir’s share price is a stellar $6.43 a share. A blind seeing stone? Hmmmm. Good question.

Stephen E Arnold, December 21, 2022

Palantir Technologies: Not Intelware, Now a Leader in Artificial Intelligence

September 27, 2022

I spotted this rather small advertisement in the Wall Street Journal dead tree edition on September 22, 2022. (I have been on the road and I had a stack of newspapers to review upon my return, so I may have the date off by a day or two. No big deal.)

Here’s the ad:

palantir ad fixed

A couple of points jumped out. First, Palantir says in this smallish ad, “Palantir. The industry leader in artificial intelligence software.” That’s a very different positioning for the intelware centric company. I think Palantir was pitching itself a business intelligence solution and maybe a mechanism to identify fraud. Somewhere along the line there was a save the planet or save the children angle to the firm’s consulting-centric solutions.

For me, “consulting centric solutions” means that software (some open source, some whipped up by wizards) is hooked together by Palantir-provided or Palantir-certified engineers. The result is a dashboard with functionality tailored to a licensee’s problem. The money is in the consulting services for this knowledge work. Users of Palantir can fiddle, but to deliver real rock ‘em sock ‘em outputs, the bill by the hour folks are needed. This is no surprise to those familiar with migrations of software developed for one thing which is then, in a quest for revenues, is morphed into a Swiss Army knife and some wowza PowerPoint presentations and slick presentations at conferences. Feel free to disagree, please.

The second thing I noticed is that Palantir presents other leaders in smart software; specifically, the laggards at Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, and the Google. There are many ways to rank leaders. One distinction Palantir has it that it is not generating much of a return for those who bought the company’s stock since the firm’s initial public offering. On the other hand, the other four outfits, despite challenges, don’t have Palantir’s track record in the money department. (Yes, I know the core of Palantir made out for themselves, but the person I know in Harrod’s Creek who bought shares after the IPO: Not a good deal at this time.

The third thing is that Google, which has been marketing the heck out of its smart software is dead last in the Palantir list. Google and its estimable DeepMind outfit is probably not thrilled to be sucking fumes from Microsoft, IBM, and the outstanding product search solution provider Amazon. Google has articles flowing from Medium, technical papers explaining the magic of its AI/ML approach, and cheerleaders in academia and government waving pom poms for the GOOG.

I have to ask myself why? Here’s a breakdown of the notes I made after my team and I talked about this remarkable ad:

  1. Palantir obviously thinks its big reputation can be conveyed in a small ad. Palantir is perhaps having difficulty thinking objectively about the pickle the company’s sales team is in and wants to branch out. (Hey, doesn’t this need big ads?)
  2. Palantir has presented a ranking which is bound to irritate some at Amazon AWS. I have heard that some Palantir clients and some Palantir’s magic software runs on AWS. Is this a signal that Palantir wants to shift cloud providers? Maybe to the government’s go-to source of PowerPoint?
  3. Palantir may want to point out that Google’s Snorkeling and diversity methods are, in fact, not too good. Lagging behind a company like Palantir is not something the senior managers consider after a morning stretching routine.

Net net: This marketing signal, though really small, may presage something more substantive. Maybe a bigger ad, a YouTube video, a couple of TikToks, and some big sales not in the collectible business would be useful next steps. But the AI angle? Well, it is interesting.

Stephen E Arnold, September 27, 2022

Palantir Technologies: Following a Well Worn Path

August 11, 2022

Most intelware vendors are pretty much search and retrieval with a layer of search based applications. I think of these specialized services like an over-priced foam dog bed. The foam is hidden beneath what looks like a rich, comfy, and pet friendly cover. The dog climbs on, sniffs the fumes and scratches the cover. A bite or two and the cover tears and foam shards litter the floor.

When I think of some intelware vendors’ solutions, I keep thinking about that Alibaba-type dog bed. Wow. Not good.

I read “Palantir Stock Skids As Exec Says Downbeat Forecast Is All the More Disappointing Given Opportunities Ahead”, and I saw that dog bed, the torn cover, and the weird pink and green foam chunks in our family room. I know this association is not one shared by those who cheerlead for Palantir or the stakeholders who must look at the value of their “stakes”.

The write up reports:

Government deals “at the billion-dollar range of the contracts that we are working on…have the bug of them taking too long and the feature of, in a highly difficult, tumultuous and politically uncertain world, that you actually get paid and you actually make free-cash flow,” Chief Executive Alex Karp said on the earnings call.

Yep, that’s true.

However, Palantir has been working hard to convince outfits like chocolate companies, big banks, and some pharma companies to rely on Palantir for their information plumbing and intelligence dashboard. (Dashboards are hot, even though many intelware vendors just recycle the components associated with Elasticsearch, a popular open source search and retrieval system, and other members of the species ELK.

If Palantir were closing deals with non governmental entities, wouldn’t that revenue make up for the historically slow and sketchy US government procurement process. For those in the know, FAR is a friend. For those who have racked up a track record of grousing about Federal procurement rules, FAR can be associated with the concept “far outside the circle of decision makers.”

If we accept my assertion of intelware as basic search, indexing and classifying content objects, and output nice looking reports. These reports, by the way, depend upon some widely used numerical recipes. The outputs of competitive intelware systems which use the same test set of content objects is often similar. In some cases, very similar. (In September at CyCon, we will show some screenshots and challenge the audience of law enforcement and intelligence professionals to identify the output with the system generating the diagrams, charts, graphs, and maps. In previous lectures this audience involvement ploy yielded one predictable result: No one could match outputs with the system producing it.

What are the paths available to a vendor of intelware chasing huge contracts for getting close to 20 years? That’s two decades, gentle reader.

Based on my observations and research for my books and monographs, here are the historical precedents I have noticed. Will Palantir follow any of these paths? Probably not, but I enjoy trotting them out in order to provide some color for the search and specialized software sector competitors. What each competitor lacked in applications, stable products and services, and informed and available customer support, the PP (Palantir predecessors) had outstanding marketing, nifty technical jargon, and a bit of the Steve Jobs reality distortion field magic.

  1. The vendor just gets acquired. Recorded Future is now Insight. Super secretive Detica is BAE Systems, etc. etc. The idea is that the buyer has the resources to make the software work and develop innovations that will keep ahead of open source offerings and pesky start ups. A variation is continuous resales as owners of intelware companies realize there are not enough customers to deliver the claims in PowerPoint decks’ revenue projections. Is one example this sequence? i2 Ltd (UK) —>  venture firm –> IBM Corp. –> Harris?
  2. The vendor hooks up with the government and presents the face of a standalone, independent outfit when affiliated with a government entity. Example: Some intelware firms in China, Israel, and the UK.
  3. The vendor goes away or turns a few cartwheels and emerges as something else entirely. Example: Cobwebs Technologies doesn’t do intelware; it provides anti money laundering services. I still like LifeRaft’s positioning as a marketing intelligence company.
  4. Everybody involved with the company moves on, new executives arrive, and the firm emerges as a customer service outfit or a customer experience provider. Rightly or wrongly I think of LucidWorks as this type of outfit.
  5. A combo deal. The inner workings of this type of deal converts Excalibur into Convera which becomes Ntent and then becomes a property of Allen & Co. Where is Convera today? I heard that some of its DNA survives in Seekr, but I have not heard back from the company to verify this rumor. The firm’s PR professional is apparently busy doing more meaningful PR things.
  6. Creative accounting. Believe it or not, some senior executives are found guilty of financial fancy dancing. Example: The founder of a certain search vendor with government clients. I think a year in the slammer was talked about.
  7. The company just closes up. Example: Perhaps Delphis, Entopia, or Stull, among others.

Net net: Vendors selling to law enforcement, crime analysts, and intelligence agencies face formidable competition from incumbents; for example, big Beltway bandits like the one for which I used to work. Furthermore, when selling intelware (event with a name change and a flashy PowerPoint deck) corporate types are not comfortable buying from a company working closely with some of the badge-and-gun agencies. Intelware vendors can talk about big sales to commercial enterprises. True, the intelware vendor may land some deals. But the majority of leads just become money pits: Sales calls, presentations, meetings with shills for the firm’s lawyers, and similar human resources. Those foam chunks from the Alibaba dog bed are similar to some investors’ dreams of giant stakeholder paydays. Oh, well, there is recycling.

Stephen E Arnold, August 11, 2022

An Analyst Wrestles with the Palantir Realities

May 23, 2022

Palantir Technologies in my world view is a services and software company positioned as a provider of intelware. Intelware means software and services which allow users to extract high-value information from text, numeric, and possibly image and video data.

Palantir, founded in 2003, has been influenced from its inception by precursor software like the original i2 Ltd. Analyst Notebook and BAE Systems Detica. Both of these systems allowed user to intake “content”, enter the names of people or things, and display the outputs so that the higher-value facts were presented in a useful way; for example, a chart or a relationship graph.

The US government works to learn about new and potentially useful software and systems. Not surprisingly, a government agency showed interest in Palantir’s software when the entrepreneurs involved in the company started describing the Palantir features and functions. Appreciate that in its early years almost two decades ago, the presentations and demonstrations captured what I call “to be” systems; that is, at some point in the future, Palantir’s system and software would be everything that Analyst Notebook, Detica, and the other intelware vendors could offer. The pitch is compelling.

Palantir, now almost two decades old, is a publicly traded company, and it is working overtime to move beyond sales to governments in the US and elsewhere. One of the characteristics of selling intelware to non-governmental organizations is that the capabilities of the system and its use by government clients are often disconcerting to a financial institution, a big hospital chain, or consulting firm focused on real estate.

Furthermore, intelware systems require data. Some data can be easily imported into a system like Palantir’s; for example, plain ASCII text and Excel spreadsheets. Other data are in a format which must be transformed so that Palantir can import the information. Other data present challenges like converting an image with a date and time stamp into an indexed content object. That indexing, to be helpful and to reduce the likelihood of errors, has to be accurate. Some non-text data must be enriched. French content processing experts refer to this enrichment as “fertilization.”

The write up “Palantir: Complete Disaster” includes this statement:

We think there are three possible courses of action in the disaster that has been Palantir, all of which are correct.

Here are the three “courses of action”:

  1. Don’t buy shares in Palantir.
  2. Buy shares, maybe short the stock.
  3. Buy shares and ride out the downturn.

Each of these options ignore two issues. The first is why Palantir is not closing deals and showing a profit. The second is why an intelware company is not able to amp up its sales to government agencies in the US, Western Europe, and selected government agencies elsewhere.

My view is that Palantir is a tough sell for these reasons:

  1. To land a deal, the prospect has to know what the payoff from using the Gotham / Foundry system is. “Intelligence” is a hot concept, but it is a tough sell unless there is a “champion” inside the prospect’s organization to grease the skids.
  2. Competitors offer comparable products for as little as $5,000 per month and some of these competitors bundle third party data which can be fused with the licensee’s data with minimal fiddling with filters and file conversions.
  3. Newer systems are easier to use, include automated workflows which speed analysts, investigators, and and researchers work.

The slow sales of Palantir follow the same type of curve that sales of Autonomy, Fast Search & Software, and many other “information” or “intelligence” focused products have. The initial sales are from government agencies which want better mouse traps. When the intelware does not deliver markedly significant payoffs, the licensees keep looking for better, faster, and cheaper options.

Will Palantir be able to generate a profit and deliver organic growth?

If the trajectory of precursor companies is the path Palantir is on, the answer is, “No.”

Stephen E Arnold, May 23, 2022

Palantir Technologies: Following in the Footsteps of Northern Light and Autonomy

May 4, 2022

What market sector is the one least likely to resonate with race car fans? I would suggest that the third party Chinese vendor TopCharm23232 is an unlikely candidate. Another outlier might be PicRights, a fascinating copyright enforcement outfit relying on ageing technology from Israel.

What do you think about search and content processing vendors?

I spotted this ad in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal which resides behind a very proper paywall.

palantir fix 1

The full page ad appeared in my Kentucky edition on May 3, 2022. I was interested when Northern Light, a vendor of search systems relying originally on open source technology shaped by Dr. Marc Krellenstein, sponsored a NASCAR vehicle. I wonder how my NASCAR fans were into Northern Light’s approach to content clustering? Some I suppose.

I also noted Autonomy plc’s sponsorship of an F-1 car and the company’s logo on the uniform of the soccer / football club Tottenham Hotspur. (That’s the club logo with a big chicken balancing on a hummingbird egg.)

How did the sponsorships work out? I am not sure about sales and closing deals, but hanging with the race car drivers and team engineers is allegedly a hoot.

Will Palantir’s technology provide the boost necessary to win the remaining F-1 races? I don’t do predictive analytics so, of course, Palantir is a winner. The stock on May 4, 2022, opened at $10.55. For purposes of comparison, Verint which is a company with some similar technology opened at $54.04. Verint does not do race cars from what I have heard.

Stephen E Arnold, May 4, 2022

Stephen E Arnold

Stephen E Arnold

Palantir May Be the New DCGS

March 9, 2022

It is perhaps more important than ever for our military to reliably, efficiently, and securely relay data to the other side of the world. To that end, the army is putting its faith in a firm we have covered often over the last several years. DefenseNews reports, “Palantir Scores $34M Order for Army Data Platform.” Reporter Colin Demarest writes:

“The Army Intelligence Data Platform deal includes software, training, cybersecurity activities and help with testing and initial standup of the capability, the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors said in an announcement Feb. 22. The award signals the next step for what was once known as the Distributed Common Ground System Capability Drop 2.”

So DCGS is dead, long live AIDP. According to a statement from the Army’s Project Manager Intelligence Systems and Analytics, the platform acts as that branch’s foundation for internal intelligence and its connection to data from the intelligence community. The write-up continues:

“The Army Acquisition Support Center describes the Distributed Common Ground System as a means to buttress a commander’s understanding of threats and his or her environment. It consists of both hardware, like laptops, and software, like data filters and analytics. The Department of Defense in February 2020 named Palantir and BAE Systems as competitors on a $823 million contract to upgrade the Army’s facet of the Distributed Common Ground System. In March 2018, the Defense Department said Palantir and Raytheon would share a $876 million contract for the Distributed Common Ground System-Army Capability Drop 1.”

Perhaps this announcement will boost the intrepid firm’s stock prices. But will this technology work if the cloud goes south or a laptop fails and a replacement cannot access the data? Of course. High tech always performs as long as there are government agencies with hefty budgets.

Cynthia Murrell, March 9, 2022

Palantir Technologies: Will the Company Soar?

February 1, 2022

Palantir is an intelware company that specializes in search technology with consulting services layered on top. According to Seeking Alpha, Palantir might not do well in 2022: “Palantir Stock: Bullish, But Downward Pressure On Price.”

Palantir’s stock has dropped considerably in the past six months. People who purchased stocker before October 2020 are doing all right, but November 2020 buyers lost their money. Palantir is projected to have growth an that appears to be the only bright spot at the moment.

The stock market is experiencing inflation and it is suspected to last longer than six months. Value stocks will benefit the most in this market, while growth stocks, like Palantir, will suffer. Macroeconomic factors will impact growth stocks. Palantir might not be doing too well, but it is doing better than it was last year.

Also there is more positive news:

“What’s especially good is that PLTR continues to “weave” itself into very large organizations. Obviously there are the military partners, which most investors know about. But PLTR is getting closer with commercial partners, left, right, and center. For example, IBM (NYSE:IBM), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO).

Quite importantly, this news isn’t just flowing from PLTR press releases. Sure, some of the distribution is fluff, hype and related PR. However, what gets me excited is that these tie-ups are showing in presentations, case studies, earnings reports, and much more. Again, PLTR is becoming a critical part of the fabric, not just simple player, or dashboard provider.

Third, PLTR regularly provides real-world updates, useful research, plus case studies. This is a strong positive for hiring, and keeping the talent pool aware of PLTR, but it’s also good for designers and developers in other companies that could be doing business with PLTR.

Palantir is definitely going to see upheavals in 2022, but search and intelware technology has always been a challenging sell when repositioned for business use cases.

Whitney Grace, February 1, 2022

Palantir at the Intersection of Extremists and Prescription Fraud

January 5, 2022

Blogger Ron Chapman II, ESQ, seems to be quite the fan of Palantir Technologies. We get that impression from his post, “Palantir’s Anti-Terror Tech Used to Fight RX Fraud.” The former Marine fell in love with the company’s tech in Afghanistan, where its analysis of terrorist attack patterns proved effective. We especially enjoyed the rah rah write-up’s line about Palantir’s “success on the battlefield.” Chapman is not the only one enthused about the government-agency darling.

As for Palantir’s move into detecting prescription fraud, we learn the company begins with open-source data from the likes of census data, public and private studies, and Medicare’s Meaningful Use program. Chapman describes the firm’s methodology:

“Palantir then cross-references varying sets of Medicare data to determine which providers statistically deviate from the norm amongst large data sets. For instance, Palantir can analyze prescription data to determine which providers rank the highest in opiate prescribing for a local area. Palantir can then cross-reference those claims against patient location data to determine if the providers’ patients are traveling long distances for opiates. Palantir can further analyze the data to determine if the patient population of a provider has been previously treated by a physician on the Office of Inspector General exclusion database (due to prior misconduct) which would indicate that the patients are not ‘legitimate.’ By using ‘big data’ to determine which providers deviate from statistical trends, Palantir can provide a more accurate basis for a payment audit, generate probable cause for search warrants, or encourage a federal grand jury to further investigate a provider’s activities. After the government obtains additional provider-specific data, Palantir can analyze specific patient files, cell phone data, email correspondence, and electronic discovery. Investigators can review cell phone data and email correspondence to determine if networks exist between providers and patients and determine the existence of a healthcare fraud conspiracy or patient brokering.”

Despite his fondness for Palantir, Chapman does include the obligatory passage on privacy and transparency concerns. He notes that healthcare providers, specifically, are concerned about undue scrutiny should their patient care decisions somehow diverge from a statistical norm. A valid consideration. As with law enforcement, the balance between the good of society and individual rights is a tricky one. Palantir was launched in 2003 by Peter Theil, who was also a cofounder of PayPal and is a notorious figure to some. The company is based in Denver, Colorado.

Cynthia Murrell, January 5, 2022

Palantir Technologies: On the Runway for a Trillion Dollar Take Off?

November 29, 2021

Palantir Technologies is an interesting company. Its technology is a combination of 2003 legacy innovations, some open source goodness, and 18 years of working hard to put a fence around policeware, intelware, financial fraud, and a handful of other markets. It sure seems to me that The Motley Fool, who is neither motley nor a fool, believes that this financial benchmark is a possibility; otherwise, why write the story? PR, stock churn, controversy, to catch the attention of observers and sideline sitters like myself? I don’t know, but with Apple putting the PR in PRivacy, who knows?

The premise is interesting. I noted this passage in the Motley and Fool write up called “Will Palantir Be a Trillion Dollar Stock by 2042“:

 Palantir is valued at $41.3 billion, or 27 times this year’s sales.

Good but with unicorns being birthed with Malthusian energy, there may be some boundaries on Palantir’s ambitions. (I will mention a couple of them at the close of this blog post.)

The write up also states:

The company expects that growth to be driven by its new and expanded contracts with government agencies, as well as the growth of its Foundry platform for large commercial customers. The accelerating growth of its commercial business over the past year, which notably outpaced the growth of its government business last quarter, supports that thesis.

I noted this statement, which I find somewhat amusing:

The company has gained a firm foothold with the U.S. government, but it still faces competition from internally developed systems. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for example, has been developing its own platform to replace Palantir’s Falcon. If other agencies follow ICE’s lead, the company’s dream of becoming the “default operating system for data across the U.S. government” could abruptly end.

I assume that Messrs. Motley and Fool know something about government procurement, why US and EU agencies license multiple systems, and stimulate internal innovation. Yep, I am thinking about DoD incubation centers and 18f. To Motley’s and Fool’s analysis, I tip my fake fur hat to the mention of Amazon as a competitor. Many don’t understand the scope of Amazon’s government services, and probably if told, still wouldn’t grasp the online bookstore as provider of streaming business data and slick AWS blockchain tools.

Let me share some of the hurdles that the galloping stallion has to clear after 18 years on the track:

  1. The NSO Group dust up has changed the table stakes for policeware and intelware outfits which seek to expand into commercial markets. The impact of NSO Group has been biting Israeli firms, but who knows what will happen tomorrow. The past is not a reliable predictor in today’s flash mob environment.
  2. The newer methods developed since Palantir opened for “business” are impressive. Many are more capable than Palantir because many tasks with which a trained Palantir forward deployed engineer must engage are point-and-click. Check out Datawalk, Sphinx 12, or a few of the Tel Aviv based outfits’ methods. (A ton of Voyager insider information has been dumped online courtesy of FOIA and the LAPD.)
  3. Crime is rising, but cyber crime in its multiferous manisfestations is sky rocketing. That means that the vendors pitching solutions could face buyer remorse. What will some of those who find that nifty smart software is not too much of a barrier to novel exploits engendered by the good enough software approaches of Google-Android type coding or Microsoft cloud-type engineering? Maybe some big time litigation?

Net net: From my perspective Palantir Technologies is an intelware and policeware outfit which has to deal with upstart competitors, tough to predict regulation and trade controls, and the looming shadow of buyer remorse which will fall across the cyber intelligence sector and hit vendors indiscriminately.

A trillion dollar outfit? Is there an NFT for Seeing Stones yet?

Stephen E Arnold, November 29, 2021

Who Remembers Palantir or Anduril? Maybe Peter Thiel?

November 4, 2021

Despite sci-fi stoked fears about artificial general intelligences (AGI) taking over the world, CNBC reports, “Palantir’s Peter Thiel Thinks People Should Be Concerned About Surveillance AI.” Theil, co-founder of Palantir and investor in drone-maker Anduril, is certainly in the position to know what he is talking about. The influential venture capitalist made the remarks at a recent event in Miami. Writer Sam Shead reports:

“Tech billionaire Peter Thiel believes that people should be more worried about ‘surveillance AI’ rather than artificial general intelligences, which are hypothetical AI systems with superhuman abilities. … Those that are worried about AGI aren’t actually ‘paying attention to the thing that really matters,’ Thiel said, adding that governments will use AI-powered facial recognition technology to control people. His comments come three years after Bloomberg reported that ‘Palantir knows everything about you.’ Thiel has also invested in facial recognition company Clearview AI and surveillance start-up Anduril. Palantir, which has a market value of $48 billion, has developed data trawling technology that intelligence agencies and governments use for surveillance and to spot suspicious patterns in public and private databases. Customers reportedly include the CIA, FBI, and the U.S. Army. AGI, depicted in a negative light in sci-fi movies such as ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Ex Machina,’ is being pursued by companies like DeepMind, which Thiel invested in before it was acquired by Google. Depending on who you ask, the timescale for reaching AGI ranges from a few years, to a few decades, to a few hundred years, to never.”

Yes, enthusiasm for AGI has waned as folks accept that success, if attainable at all, is a long way off. Meanwhile, Thiel is now very interested in crypto currencies. For the famously libertarian mogul, that technology helps pave the way for his vision of the future: a decentralized world. That is an interesting position for a friend of law enforcement.

Cynthia Murrell, November 4, 2021

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