NewsBrief April 30, 2021

Posted by


Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 30, 2021

Rule-Based AI vs. Machine Learning for Development – Which is Best?

(aitrends) AI is not tossing out all the rules and methods of software development learned over the last 50 years, just many of them. Rule-based AI systems borrow from rule-based expert system development, which tapped the knowledge of human experts to solve complex problems by reasoning through bodies of knowledge. Expert systems emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. The knowledge would be represented through if-then-else rules rather than procedural code. Expert systems were considered successful forms of early AI. Today rule-based AI models include a set of rules and a set of facts, described in a recent account in BecomingHuman/Medium. “You can develop a basic AI model with the help of these two components,” the article states. Read More

GSA moving to more modular cloud environment

(fedscoop) The General Services Administration plans to increase cloud brokerage having “stress-tested” cloud technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Deputy CIO Beth Killoran. GSA had about 50% of its applications in the cloud when the pandemic hit and only needed to surge existing cloud capabilities to help agencies like the Small Business Administration administer COVID-19 relief funds. Now that people have seen the cloud’s value, GSA wants to expand into areas where the technology hasn’t been used previously, and that requires a more modular or hybrid environment. Read More

DoD Cites Value of Flexibility in Filling Cyber Workforce

(FEDweek) Pentagon officials have said that they are using the special hiring and compensation authorities enacted into law in recent years in recruiting and retaining employees in cyber-related fields, an occupational area where the government in general has problems in competing with the private sector for talent. Official said at a recent hearing that they are still working to comply with the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act of 2015, which required all federal agencies to better track positions performing IT, cybersecurity, and other cyber-related functions. Read More

How the DoD can win the great tech race with a new workforce model

(C4ISRNET) Despite innovative initiatives to redesign DoD’s future technology and cyber workforce, the preponderance of its military and civilian personnel structure remains steady, consistent and predictable — all representing a value-based model. Today’s expanding and unpredictable great power competition landscape has much less concern for financial efficiencies, yet more demand for an adaptive and innovative workforce design superior to those who threaten harm to the United States and its national interests. Across today’s threat spectrum, steady means static, consistent is hidebound, predictable is not nimble. Read More

CISA experiments with cloud log aggregation to ID threats

(FCW) The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has pilot programs underway with multiple departments and agencies to experiment with aggregating cloud logs to a warehouse which in turn will feed the agency’s data analysis efforts. CISA wants to “see if it’s possible to send their logs to our aggregation point and make sense of them as a community together,” Brian Gattoni, CISA’s chief technology officer, said on Wednesday at an event hosted by FCW. “We’ve run pilots through the [Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation] program team, through our capacity building team to look at end point visibility capabilities … to see if that closes the visibility gap for us.” Read More

Artificial intelligence is learning how to dodge space junk in orbit

( An AI-driven space debris-dodging system could soon replace expert teams dealing with growing numbers of orbital collision threats in the increasingly cluttered near-Earth environment. Every two weeks, spacecraft controllers at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, have to conduct avoidance manoeuvres with one of their 20 low Earth orbit satellites, Holger Krag, the Head of Space Safety at the European Space Agency (ESA) said in a news conference organized by ESA during the 8th European Space Debris Conference held virtually from Darmstadt Germany, April 20 to 23. There are at least five times as many close encounters that the agency’s teams monitor and carefully evaluate, each requesting a multi-disciplinary team to be on call 24/7 for several days. Read More

Fulfilling the promise of advanced analytics in oncology

(McKinsey & Company) In recent years, dozens of large corporations and tech start-ups announced that they would deliver self-driving cars by 2020, thanks to the power of advanced analytics. It seemed like a daunting but plausible goal, as newer models already included semiautonomous features such as adaptive cruise control and driver-assist parking. But over time, we discovered, based on the massive amounts of data, machine-learning models, and expert engineers required, just how complex it is to build a fully autonomous vehicle. Nevertheless, while no company is producing self-driving cars on their assembly lines yet (due to the continual pushback of estimated delivery dates), it is only a matter of time. Read More

Army wants to lock soldiers’ biometrics in with machines to create sci-fi-like effects

(Federal News Network) Have you ever been watching a sci-fi movie and a drone comes to the rescue just in the nick of time, or a technology deploys right when a character needs it most? The Army wants that, too — and it’s working with the nascent technology now to improve situational awareness to better team with robots, drones, other humans and anything else that may come along the way. The Army Research Lab, along with the Navy, is using a new suite of software tools to track the biometrics of soldiers and sailors — everything from pupil size to eye movement to heart rate and breathing patterns. Read More

‘Exotic compact objects’ could soon break physics, new study suggests

( Out in the depths of the universe, outlandish black-hole-like entities might exist with the power to redefine physics as we know it. A new study calculates that, in the coming years, gravitational wave observatories on Earth could find these hypothetical oddballs, which are known as exotic compact objects. The U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and its European counterpart Virgo were built to capture ripples in the fabric of space-time radiating from massive objects like black holes and neutron stars crashing together. Yet there is always the chance that scientists could run into something unexpected. Read More

With Goals Met, NASA to Push Envelope with Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

(NASA) Now that NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has accomplished the goal of achieving powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on the Red Planet, and with data from its most recent flight test, on April 25, the technology demonstration project has met or surpassed all of its technical objectives. The Ingenuity team now will push its performance envelope on Mars. The fourth Ingenuity flight from Wright Brothers Field, the name for the Martian airfield on which the flight took place, is scheduled to take off Thursday, April 29, at 10:12 a.m. EDT (7:12 a.m. PDT, 12:30 p.m. local Mars time), with the first data expected back at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 1:21 p.m. EDT (10:21 a.m. PDT). Read More