NewsBrief: June 17, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 17, 2022

CDAO sees contracting as a way to build innovation

(Federal News Network) The Defense Department’s newest office is being billed as a new and innovative way to approach technology and data in the military, but the office’s contracting department sees itself as a trailblazer as well. The chief data and artificial intelligence office (CDAO), which became fully operational this month, is trying to ensure that contracting comes first in how the Defense Department approaches business and not as a forgotten add on. “Our goal is to remove roadblocks,” Kathrine Crompton, CDAO’s contracting chief, told Federal News Network. “Many times contracting people think contracting is at the end. Sometimes people make the distinction that acquisition and contracting are one in the same. Contracting is an enablement, we are the people who should be able to enable that purchasing power for those goods to be delivered. We’re not acquisition.” Read More

Rethinking what conflict involves in the age of exponential data

(Breaking Defense) The dismaying events on the European Plain make it clear the Department of Defense (DoD) has hard decisions ahead that are necessary to adapt to the rapidly changing digital character of war. While much of the attention on those events has rightly focused on Russian conventional forces’ performance via territorial gains and losses, the DoD must not become distracted from the pacing threat. Future victory will go to the side that most quickly applies overwhelming force while dispensing truth to maintain an honest global representation of events. The DoD must move faster with a common understanding there are now totalitarian adversaries building massive digital arsenals across their diplomatic, informational, military, economic, financial, intelligence, and law enforcement institutions. Read More

Becoming an ‘AI Powerhouse’ Means Going All In

(MIT Sloan Management Review) There are plenty of organizations that are dabbling with AI, but relatively few have decided to go all in on the technology. One that is decidedly on that path is Mastercard. Employing a combination of acquisitions and internal capabilities, Mastercard has the clear objective of becoming an AI powerhouse. Just what does that term mean, and how is it being applied at the company? Read More

The potential of probabilistic computers

(ScienceDaily) The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has created a crisis in computing and a significant need for more hardware that is both energy-efficient and scalable. A key step in both AI and ML is making decisions based on incomplete data, the best approach for which is to output a probability for each possible answer. Current classical computers are not able to do that in an energy-efficient way, a limitation that has led to a search for novel approaches to computing. Quantum computers, which operate on qubits, may help meet these challenges, but they are extremely sensitive to their surroundings, must be kept at extremely low temperatures and are still in the early stages of development. Read More

Defense topline funding could see a bump, panel chairman says

(FCW) Defense spending for fiscal 2023 will likely increase beyond the White House’s proposal, according to a top Democratic lawmaker. But the key will rest in how Pentagon leaders use acquisition authorities to put extra funds to good use. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday he was confident that defense budget limits could be increased by the time Congress passes the relevant authorization and spending bills. That means the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which is scheduled for a full committee markup on June 22, could “wind up with an increased number,” he said. Read More

GAO finds delays in major weapons programs, broad cybersecurity worries

(C4ISRNET) The Department of the Air Force is using artificial intelligence to augment weather predictions and better understand environmental conditions in places where the U.S. military may be headed. Deputy Chief Information Officer Winston Beauchamp told the UiPath TOGETHER Public Sector conference on June 14 that the technology is improving forecasting abilities and providing valuable insights for planning and operations. “Using AI, we’ve been able to enhance our weather models to take data that we don’t have ground-based sensors to collect, and extrapolate and interpolate between those data points to come up with weather predictions over parts of the world,” he said. Read More

This angry critic gave ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ just half a star

(Navy Times) Since it landed full throttle in theaters on May 27 the long-anticipated “Top Gun: Maverick” has raked in a more than $400 million at the domestic box office, making it the highest-grossing movie of the year. Its score on Rotten Tomatoes is “Certified Fresh” at 97 percent on the Tomatometer, and sits at 78 percent on Metacritic. But a movie reviewer on Letterboxd named Brett was not impressed by this sequel to the 1986 cult classic. In fact, he was so bothered by the action film that he gave it 1/2 a star and wrote more than 700 words about how terrible he found the movie. Read More

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