NewsBrief: January 13, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: January 13, 2023

The review that helps DoD create better contract management documentation

(Federal News Network)
With a record-breaking new defense budget, Defense Contracting Management Agency wants to make sure individual agencies have the skills necessary to fulfill contracting obligations and follow all the rules. While many bigger agencies have internal review programs, smaller agencies rely on a procurement management review (PMR) to find errors in their contracting programs and identify best practices. Army Col. Joseph Davis of DCMA is the program manager for the PMR. DCMA, in concert with Defense Pricing and Contracting and a group of volunteers from various agencies, performs reviews every three years for Defense Department agencies that don’t have internal review programs. Read More

Artificial intelligence in strategy

(McKinsey & Company)
Can machines automate strategy development? The short answer is no. However, there are numerous aspects of strategists’ work where AI and advanced analytics tools can already bring enormous value. Yuval Atsmon is a senior partner who leads the new McKinsey Center for Strategy Innovation, which studies ways new technologies can augment the timeless principles of strategy. In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, he explains how artificial intelligence is already transforming strategy and what’s on the horizon. This is an edited transcript of the discussion. For more conversations on the strategy issues that matter, follow the series on your preferred podcast platform. Read More

ACT-IAC Makes Recommendations to Improve Federal Agencies’ AI Accountability Practices

(Executive Gov)
The American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council is urging federal agencies to set or reinforce existing best practices in artificial intelligence accountability to protect their AI systems against threats. In a white paper published Wednesday, ACT-IAC reported that the U.S. government currently does not have a standard definition of AI accountability, but federal managers can use guidelines from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Government Accountability Office to manage AI risks. Under Executive Order 13960, government agencies are required to implement physical, technical or administrative safeguards to ensure the proper use and functionality of their AI systems. The EO mandates them to conduct an inventory, provide justification, or retire AI systems if necessary. Read More

Department of the Air Force Posts RFI for Next Generation IT Support

(Executive Gov)
The Department of the Air Force has begun seeking information from industry sources capable of advancing the capabilities of its Next Generation Information Technology system. In a notice posted Friday on, DAF said it plans to award a contract between December 2023 and March 2024 to modernize the asset management system that supports its civil engineering community. NexGen IT provides support to about 40,000 users across the Air Force and Space Force in areas of real property, energy, general ledger, operations and supply, space management with CAD and cost accounting. Read More

Air Force Wants to Add Facial Recognition to Automated Base Entrance

The Air Force is considering using facial recognition technology at base entrances and plans to start with a pilot program at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. The base has an automated system for approving vehicle access, but officials want to increase the speed and security of that system by adding facial recognition in the mix. Under the current plan, drivers would approach the access control platform and have their photo taken, which then would be matched against a verified ID or a photo gallery of people approved for access that day. The Air Force is looking for algorithms that can both verify that a person’s face matches the ID they present—known as one-to-one (1:1) or verification—as well as match a live picture against a database of up to 10,000 images—one-to-many (1:N) or identification. Read More

Researchers develop AI method for mapping planets

(Mars Daily)
Creating geological maps of planetary surfaces such as Mars is a complex process. From data collection to data analysis to publication in different formats – the production of maps is based on a time-consuming, multi-step process. Deep Learning techniques, which use artificial neural networks to analyze data sets, can significantly improve the production process, as broadly shown in both scientific literature and applications. However, until now, open-source, ready-to-use, and highly customizable toolsets for planetary mapping were never released. Read More

See 133 days on the sun in just 2 minutes in this mesmerizing NASA video

The sun is a constant presence for all life on Earth, bringing light, warmth and splitting our days and nights. But the sun is more than just a bright light in the sky and a new NASA video reveals its ever-changing surface in a stunning time-lapse that spans 133 days.  The new sun video, which NASA released on YouTube Jan. 5, shows the sun as it appeared over four months from Aug. 12 to Dec. 22 in 2022. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured the video as part of its constant watch for solar flares and other space weather.  Read More

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