Oculus' founder says he can't confirm or deny if Ukraine is using his defense firm's tech, but that President Zelenskyy 'reached out to us way ahead of most world leaders' years ago
Palmer Luckeytold Wired he "can't say one way or the other" if his startup is involved in Ukraine.
Oculusfounder said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reached out to him years ago.
Palmer Luckey didn't say that his military-contracting startup
But he also didn't say it wasn't.
Wired asked the former Facebook executive and Oculus founder, who launched Anduril in 2017, "if Anduril technology had been deployed, would that conflict be playing out differently?" referring to Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.
Luckey replied, "there's a few assumptions in that question, like we aren't involved."
When Wired then directly asked Luckey if he and his company were involved, Luckey said: "I can't say one way or the other. I will say we've designed our technology to be specifically relevant to exactly these challenges."
He also said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reached out to Anduril "way ahead of most leaders" years ago and said he last saw him two years ago.
Luckey said Zelenskyy understood the power of a "credible threat of force," which Luckey said matched the mission of his company.
"You want to have really strong technology that deters conflict by raising the cost high enough so that it's not thinkable," Luckey told Wired. He also said he was devastated that Ukraine and its allies weren't able to stop the Russian attack.
Anduril did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Anduril was awarded a contract with Customs and Border Protection in 2020 to build a virtual border wall for monitoring illegal passage into the US.
The "wall" was designed to use cameras, thermal imaging, and a network of 200 solar-powered surveillance towers to detect signs of movement, as well as artificial intelligence to distinguish humans from animals and objects.
Public records revealed in November 2021 that Anduril was employing "human image labelers" that were assigning labels like "person" or "animal" to images. They were working under nondisclosure agreements that prevent them from knowing what they're working on, as Insider's Carolina Haskins reported.
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