Silicon Valley, the start-up incarnation 4/5. Palmer Luckey, the geek who needed to make sure the army supremacy of the West – Pledge Times

Gone is the poster of Uncle Sam pointing the finger at you with that We need you injunction. The US military has long relied on video games to recruit. Americas Army, a shooting game developed to restore the reputation of the institution and attract young recruits, is also in its fourth version. And if, at the origin, the joysticks were inspired by the controls of military planes or helicopters, now it is the combat drones which are piloted with game console controllers. Palmer Luckey is the result of this strange mixture. He is now the head of a $ 2 billion start-up that has the avowed aim of leading the United States and the West to technological supremacy in the war of the future.

Ten years ago, Palmer, a teenager with a passion for war games and Hawaiian shirts, was thinking in the basement of his preschool in California on how to make his favorite hobby more immersive. He imagines the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset suitable for gaming. If he is not the most sociable of teenagers, he is part of a very large online network of very conservative white gamers, who are fighting against the irruption of women and any form of progressive idea in the video game industry. In 2012, he launched his idea on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform, and thus raised $ 2.5 million. Two years later, Facebook bought Oculus for 2 billion, including 1.6 in Facebook shares. Palmers fortune is made.

Not enjoying himself in Zuckerbergs firm, where he cannot express his alt-right ideas too openly, he leaves and sets up a new business, co-financed with Peter Thiel, who also likes Donald Trump a lot and the Lord of the Rings. Thiel had launched Palantir, The all-seeing eye in the novel by Tolkien, a data management company working for intelligence. He helps Luckey to create Anduril, the name of the heros sword which means Protector of the West the West would be fairer in this case.

I created Anduril because Im afraid that the United States will lose its supremacy, explained Palmer, still in Hawaiian shirt, at the Lisbon Web Summit in 2018. The big industrialists are good at making fighter planes, but not are not looking for autonomous weapons, soldier enhancement through transhumanism or military artificial intelligence. The young man then describes his vision of the war of the future. I think the soldiers will soon be omniscient superheroes () I dont think they will directly carry weapons. Each soldier will have an augmented reality headset through which he will have a general and precise view of the battlefield and through which he will control his weapons. Yes, it essentially describes a video game.

Anduril, who has at 1 er July raised 200 million dollars again, landed real contracts with the Pentagon for its flagship product, Lattice (trellis in French). The idea is to cover a territory with sensors: a military base, critical infrastructures, borders An artificial intelligence models the terrain in real time and identifies any intrusion. With a virtual reality headset, a human can almost verify the intrusion with their own eyes. He erected a virtual wall that stretches across the Mexican border and made it possible to arrest dozens of migrants, which Luckey is very proud of. It has just added to Lattice the Interceptor, a combat drone capable of intercepting in the area to be protected another drone in mid-flight, operating completely autonomously. An equally autonomous tank would be in preparation in the hangars of Anduril in Silicon Valley. If we want to define the rules of this war of tomorrow, we must be the first, assures Luckey. We were able to impose rules on nuclear weapons, because we were the best. Technological supremacy is a prerequisite for ethics.

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Tomorrow Travis Kalanick, Uber.

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Silicon Valley, the start-up incarnation 4/5. Palmer Luckey, the geek who needed to make sure the army supremacy of the West - Pledge Times

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