NewsBrief – April 19, 2024

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 19, 2024

House committee introduces 5 guardrails for internal AI use

(NextGov/FCW) The Committee on House Administration provided an update in its ongoing series that aims to help guide the usage of artificial intelligence within the U.S. House of Representatives and other legislative branch entities. Released on Wednesday morning, the April 2024 AI Flash Report includes 5 formalized AI guardrails to promote responsible use of the technology within the House itself: incorporating human oversight and decision-making; implementing clear and comprehensive policies; robust testing and evaluation; transparency and disclosure protocols; and promoting education and upskilling within the legislative workforce. Read More

Can agencies actually follow the White House AI order?

(Federal News Network) The White House has given agencies until the end of the year to make sure their use of artificial intelligence is safe and fair. It tells practitioners to keep humans in the proverbial loop and to let people opt out of AI applications. And it also wants them to stop using AI if they cannot meet the safeguard rules. How feasible is all of this? For one view, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke with the Principal Security Consultant for the cybersecurity company NCC group, David Brauchler. Read More

NSA, Partners Release Guidance for Deploying Secure AI Systems

(ExecutiveGov) The National Security Agency’s Artificial Intelligence Security Center, in collaboration with U.S. and international partners, has released new guidance on deploying secure and resilient artificial intelligence systems. NSA said Monday the document aims to guide organizations in implementing and operating AI technologies designed and developed by another entity and employing mitigations to counter security threats posed by the systems. “AI brings unprecedented opportunity, but also can present opportunities for malicious activity. NSA is uniquely positioned to provide cybersecurity guidance, AI expertise, and advanced threat analysis,” said Dave Luber, cybersecurity director at NSA. Read More

New bill would create federal grant program for digital upskilling

(Government Executive) New legislation introduced Wednesday would seek to help narrow the nation’s digital skills gap by creating a new federal grant program to promote equity and new training opportunities. The Digital Skills for Today’s Workforce Act — cosponsored by Reps. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and David Valadao, R-Calif., alongside Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. — would amend the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to include new digital training opportunities through a grant program that can be deployed across postsecondary education, adult education and workforce development systems. Read More

What are the Different Types of Government Contracts?

(ExecutiveGov) The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is a comprehensive guidebook outlining the different types of government contracts that federal agencies routinely award. Selecting the right contract type isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor; it involves various factors, including the nature of supplies and services, the degree of competition, and the associated risks. Learn here about each type of government contract designed to align with the specific needs of the federal government and the contractor. Read More

How Lufthansa Shapes Data-Driven Transformation Leaders

(MIT Sloan Management Review) Up in the air, a modern plane generates 1 terabyte of data every 24 hours of flight. For airlines like the Lufthansa Group, this data can be used to create valuable business outcomes, from improved operational efficiency to higher customer satisfaction. On top of this rich data set, Lufthansa has invested substantially in deploying artificial intelligence technologies, improving data quality processes, and hiring data engineers and data scientists. However, in 2023, it recognized that it had to do more to become a truly data-driven company. Read More

Purple may just be the new green in the hunt for alien life

(Space Daily) Researchers are expanding the criteria for life on other planets beyond the familiar green of Earthly vegetation. Scientists at Cornell University have suggested that purple, not green, might be the predominant color of life on other worlds, based on a study of bacteria that absorb infrared light for photosynthesis. These purple bacteria, which exhibit a range of hues including yellow, orange, and red, could dominate planets orbiting cooler red dwarf stars, the most common type in the Milky Way. Read More

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