NewsBrief: December 9, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: December 9, 2022

The state of AI in 2022—and a half decade in review

(McKinsey & Co.) Adoption has more than doubled since 2017, though the proportion of organizations using AI 1 has plateaued between 50 and 60 percent for the past few years. A set of companies seeing the highest financial returns from AI continue to pull ahead of competitors. The results show these leaders making larger investments in AI, engaging in increasingly advanced practices known to enable scale and faster AI development, and showing signs of faring better in the tight market for AI talent. On talent, for the first time, we looked closely at AI hiring and upskilling. The data show that there is significant room to improve diversity on AI teams, and, consistent with other studies, diverse teams correlate with outstanding performance. Read More

Three questions following the Army’s FLRAA decision

(Breaking Defense) In the wake of the Army selecting Bell Textron’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor for the coveted Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition yesterday, analysts are looking through the tea leaves to figure out what lessons can be learned — and whether the decision will potentially shape the service’s upcoming Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition. During a Monday call with reporters, several army officials broadly discussed why they selected Bell’s tiltrotor bid over Sikorsky-Boeing’s coaxial rotor Defiant X. Read More

GAO Cites Regulatory Lapses in IoT Device Use in Critical Infrastructure

(Executive Gov) The Government Accountability Office is urging lead agencies to measure the effectiveness of cybersecurity programs they established to protect Internet of Things and operational technology use in critical infrastructure sectors. In a report released Thursday, GAO reviewed cybersecurity initiatives launched by the Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Transportation and Homeland Security, which govern the electricity, transportation and health care industries. IoT and OT devices are widely used to deliver services in critical infrastructure. Read More

House, Senate defense authorizers agree to multi-year munitions buys

(Breaking Defense) The US military services are a step closer to having the authority to award non-competitive, multi-year contracts to refill the nation’s dwindling munitions stockpiles and purchase additional launchers such as the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. On Tuesday night, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees released compromise language for the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the new multiyear procurement authority for “certain munitions.” Lawmakers helpfully spelled out which munitions and launcher lines are candidates for this new buying authority, and the total number of each that the services can acquire.  Read More

US-EU Trade and Technology Council Unveils Actions to Advance Cooperation on Emerging Tech

(Executive Gov) The U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council conducted its third ministerial meeting Monday and launched a number of initiatives to advance transatlantic cooperation in various areas, such as supporting digital connectivity in third countries, cooperating on new and emerging technologies and establishing resilient semiconductor supply chains. The U.S. and the European Union are releasing a joint AI roadmap to inform the approaches to trustworthy AI and AI risk management, publishing a joint study on AI’s impact on the workforce and collaborating on a pilot project on synthetic data in medicine and health and privacy-enhancing technologies as part of efforts to advance cooperation on emerging technologies, the White House said Monday. Read More

What Federal Employees Need to Know About Giving and Receiving Gifts in the Workplace

(Government Executive) The holiday season is in full swing, and federal employees can join in on most of the fun without breaking ethics rules. But before you accept a gift in the workplace, there are a few limitations to keep in mind. Here is a refresher on the rules at federal offices.  The gift rules for executive branch employees are designed to avoid conflicts of interest, either actual or perceived, and were updated in 2016. They forbid federal employees from seeking or receiving gifts given to them because of their government job. Accepting a gift from someone who does business with an employee’s agency is also forbidden, and can be a crime if an employee takes certain actions after receiving the gift.  Read More

Tiny underwater sand dunes may shed light on larger terrestrial and Martian formations

(Mars Daily) The English poet William Blake famously implored readers to “see the world in a grain of sand.” In Physics of Fluids, by AIP Publishing, scientists from the University of Campinas, in Brazil, and the University of California, Los Angeles, have been doing just that – studying the “granular” dynamics of how crescent-shaped sand dunes are formed. Known as barchans, these formations are commonly found in various sizes and circumstances, from finger-length dunes on the ocean floor, to stadium-sized dunes in the Earth’s deserts, to dunes that extend for a kilometer across the surface of Mars. Read More

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