NewsBrief: April 7, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 7, 2023

White House Touts Digital Training Programs to Bridge Gap in AI Procurement

(NextGov) A White House official said Tuesday that as more federal agencies seek artificial intelligence research, software and services, federal contracting professionals will increasingly need to undergo digital information technology training to gain the technical skills and competencies required for the acquisitions needed to fill the demand. “We need to have practices that encourage and enable us to take advantage of those technologies, but we have to do it in a responsible manner, so that we’re not exposing ourselves to unnecessary national security risks or human rights challenges,” said Mathew Blum, associate administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, at a Brookings Institute event on federal acquisitions. Read More

Navy to deploy unmanned vessels, AI in region where it’s struggled to meet demand for ships

(Federal News Network) The Navy says it’s having trouble meeting its homeland defense responsibilities in the Carribbean and other areas of U.S. Southern Command. That’s one of several reasons officials think that region — the 4th Fleet, in Navy parlance — is an ideal place to continue proving out the feasibility of unmanned ships, aided by advanced technologies like artificial intelligence. The plans, announced Tuesday, are an expansion of the unmanned experimentation work the Navy has been doing in its 5th Fleet, which covers waters in the Middle East. There, the Navy’s Task Force 59 has been working on integrating unmanned systems with a mesh network made up of advanced sensors that can collect and transmit data even when enemy forces are trying to jam traditional communications networks. Read More

Software Acquisition: Additional Actions Needed to Help DOD Implement Future Modernization Efforts

(US GAO) The Office of the National Cyber Director and the National Space Council hosted a forum on Tuesday to enable government and industry executives to discuss ways to improve cybersecurity in the space sector. Representatives from industry cited the need to field quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms and ensure the security of open source libraries, while government officials mentioned the importance of having comprehensive guidance that could help developers and operators improve the cybersecurity of space systems, the White House said Tuesday. Read More

Why we need to remember that it is ‘artificial intelligence’ we are looking to develop, not ‘artificial people’

(New Civil Engineer) AI has been challenged for errors that compromise safety, level of transparency, intellectual rights, discriminatory face recognition as it is predominantly trained by white people and data protection. Most cases are adjudicated via litigation and, as AI legislation is still at a premature stage, the jury is still out. But when it comes to ethics, there are more parameters for consideration than merely accountability allocation. Read More

New cyber software can verify how much knowledge AI really knows

(Science Daily) With a growing interest in generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems worldwide, researchers at the University of Surrey have created software that is able to verify how much information an AI farmed from an organisation’s digital database. Surrey’s verification software can be used as part of a company’s online security protocol, helping an organisation understand whether an AI has learned too much or even accessed sensitive data. Read More

James Webb Space Telescope spies most ancient galaxies ever observed

( The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has clapped eyes on the most ancient galaxies ever observed. Astronomers are now confident that the light from these galaxies has been traveling to Earth for over 13.4 billion years, two new studies report. The results show that these galaxies inhabited the universe when it was less than 350 million years old and demonstrate the rapid emergence of the first generations of galaxies. Read More

Say Good-bye to the Security Clearance Status Quo

(Government Executive) Security clearance reform efforts made another step toward transparency and clarity with an announcement last week that reporting figures from the Office of Management and Budget will now include figures for all security clearance investigations. “The current system only measures the 90% fastest,” Jason Miller, OMB’s deputy director for management said in testimony during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on personnel vetting modernization on March 29. “So, we have a huge tail that we’re not measuring. We’re trying to measure everything so we can manage it and make sure that we’re really driving transformative impact.” Read More

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