US Army awards $250M contract to Palantir to research and develop AI

The U.S. Army has awarded a $250 million contract to Palantir Technologies Inc. to research and develop artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.

The three-year deal for AI services reportedly builds on the work Palantir has been doing since at least 2018 for the Army Research Lab. Per the terms of the new contract, Palantir will conduct research and development services in AI and machine learning.

The finer details of the contract and specifics on what Palantir is developing and building for the army was not disclosed. Palantir, famously cagey when it comes to Department of Defense work, has not commented on the deal. The deal itself was only disclosed in a paragraph on a list of new DOD contracts published on Tuesday.

Irrespective of the finer details not being disclosed, investors liked the news, with Palantir shares closing regular trading up 6%, to $14.85. Analysts were also positive. Louie DiPalma from William Blair & Company told Investor’s Business Daily that “while this contract adds fuel to the argument that Palantir is more like a government service provider, this contract bodes well for Palantir’s fourth-quarter and 2024 revenue.”

IBD also reported that Palantir is currently in the running to win a new contract from the U.K.’s National Health System. The NHS had used Palantir during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now in line to win a contract worth approximately $595 million, with a decision expected to be made later this year.

The Palantir “Artificial Intelligence Platform” launched earlier this year and is reported to have 150 users, up 50% within the last month.

Founded in 2003, Palantir develops data fusion and analysis platforms that are used by government agencies and commercial enterprises to integrate, manage and analyze large and complex datasets. The company’s platforms are designed to help users identify patterns and connections in their data, which can be used to inform decision-making, solve problems, and mitigate risks.

Though highly successful, Palantir has attracted controversy over the years and has faced backlash for enabling extensive data surveillance, which some argue infringes on privacy rights and is prone to abuse. The use of Palantir’s technology by U.S. Immigration authorities to target illegal immigrants resulted in protests in 2020.

Image: Palantir

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