NewsBrief May 22, 2020

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: May 22, 2020

TSA makes data a top priority for detecting insider threats

(fedscoop) The Transportation Security Administration is prioritizing the use of data to detect insider threats to the transportation system, under a roadmap released Thursday. TSA issued the document in response to an October directive from the Department of Homeland Security that its agencies implement an insider threat detection and prevention program. The agency defines an insider threat as a person who wittingly or unwittingly uses their authorized access to sensitive areas and information to compromise transportation security— or allow criminals or terrorists to do so — in a way that hurts people, organizations, systems, or national security. Read More

DoD developing ‘best practices’ for AI programs

(C4ISRNET) The Pentagon’s research and engineering office is developing a series of technical standards and best practices for the department’s artificial intelligence efforts, according to Mark Lewis, director of research and engineering for modernization. While running through the top technical priorities under his purview during a Tuesday event hosted by the trade association AFCEA, Lewis highlighted the challenges of trying to corral the artificial intelligence programs spread throughout the Department of Defense. Read More

NASA Seeks to Improve How It Learns About New Technology

(Nextgov) Part of NASA’s mission to drive advances in science, technology and space exploration requires knowing precisely when innovations that impact its mission occur. To that end, the space agency is looking for public input to improve how it receives new technology information from NASA employees, industry partners, contractors and government-funded researchers. NASA currently operates the electronic New Technology Reporting System, or e-NTR, a website NASA employees and parties under NASA funding agreements use to report technology advancements directly to the agency via secure internet connection. Read More

Air Force launches search for AI-enabled ‘Skyborg’ drones

(fedscoop) If you make artificial intelligence-enabled drones, the Air Force is looking for you. The department’s Life Cycle Management Center has issued a solicitation that seeks participants in the new “Skyborg” program, which would pair low-cost unmanned systems with fighter jets to extend the military’s air power. Potential awardees could see up to $400 million through an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, according to the announcement. The statement of work is not public, but a summary of the program outlines a futuristic team of “integrated” systems that puts “manned/unmanned teaming” in the sky. Read More

The Surprising Science Behind Successful Remote Meetings

(MITSloan) Poorly run meetings have a tremendously negative impact on team success, innovation, creativity, and on individuals’ well-being and stress. In fact, experiencing a poor meeting can even result in meeting recovery syndrome, where employees lose additional time and productivity mentally recovering from a bad meeting. My research suggests that only around 50% of meeting time is effective, well used, and engaging — and these effectiveness numbers drop even lower when it comes to remote meetings. Read More

Women in Data Science: Moving from Inclusion to Influence

(Knowledge at Wharton) Data scientists are much in demand. Beyond the domains one might expect — technology, the internet and telecommunications — they are being sought in energy, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and other industries, according to recruiting firm Smith Hanley Associates. But there’s a gender gap. Only 15% to 22% of today’s data science professionals are women, according to recent research from Boston Consulting Group. Moreover, women data analysts tend not to hold managerial roles, comprising only 18% of leadership positions at premier tech companies, according to Forbes. Data science’s appeal is lackluster among female STEM students: In the BCG report, nearly half of them perceived data science to be “overly theoretical and low impact.” Read More

Why Smart Companies Are Giving Customers More Data

(Futurism) In 2016, Spanish banking group BBVA offered to its Spain-based customers a personal finance management app. One of the app’s tools used machine learning algorithms to sort customer transactions into common budgeting categories such as rent, food, and entertainment, and then it displayed a customer’s expenditures broken down as a simple chart. BBVA promoted the categorizer on its digital banking website as a way for customers to better manage their personal budgets. In just a year and a half, the tool became the most utilized feature on the BBVA website, second only to funds transfer. Read More