Palmer Luckey and Trae Stephens Discuss AI and Defense Industry


December 1, 2017
by Cole Trudo

“AI is already being applied to warfare, it’s already being applied to national security, the genie’s already out of the bottle there, so how can we effectively apply it to solving our own problems?” said Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus Rift, who joined Trae Stephens (SFS’06), partner at Founders Fund, in speaking to Dean Hellman and a group of SFS students about their new startup and the growing importance of artificial intelligence in the national defense sector.

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“We had been having this conversation about how sad of a shape the national security sector is in on the technology front and we kind of just decided it would be fun to start a company to try to fix some of these problems,” Stephens explained. Luckey and Stephens discussed the difficulties of entering a field dominated by large firms like Lockheed Martin, Palantir and Space X, and the different way that they approach this sector. Both speakers warned of the U.S. being overtaken by Russia and China, who they believe are approaching A.I. as a viable tool in national defense and warfare.