NewsBrief October 1, 2021

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: October 1, 2021

Defense contractors required to get cybersecurity defense certification to prevent hacks

(CBS News 19 WHNT) HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The threat of cyber security hacks and information breaches is an ever-present threat with serious consequences. In an effort to protect national security, all Department of Defense contractors will have to have a level of “Cybersecurity Maturity Model” certification to do business. Nationwide, this will impact all of the defense industrial bases which include 300,000 companies in the supply chain and many of those are in north Alabama. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a unified standard for implementing cyber security across the defense industry. Read More

Underspecification Challenging Machine Learning Modeling

(aitrends) The three little bears strived to get it just right, and AI model builders strive to do the same thing when it comes to specifying their model. Underspecification is when you build a model that performs well on your data, but so do other models, which could lead to your model decaying over time. The discussion of underspecification kicked off last fall when Google researchers published a paper on the subject, “Underspecification Presents Challenges for Credibility in Modern Machine Learning.” “ML models often exhibit unexpectedly poor behavior when they are deployed in real-world domains. We identify underspecification as a key reason for these failures,” stated the paper, put together by a group of scientists led by author Alexander D’Amour, a research scientist with Google Brain of Cambridge, Mass. Read More

How Artificial Intelligence Technology and Data Can Increase Resilience in the New Pandemic Era

(Route Fifty) If there’s a common thread over the past year and a half, it’s dramatic change: a global pandemic amidst a politically charged and socially divisive environment, civil unrest, extreme temperatures and record-breaking weather disasters. These disasters have all driven immense transformation. From the collaboration required between state and health care to manage COVID-19 outbreaks and vaccine appointments to remote working, adopting new ways to support customers and operating brick-and-mortar processes in a digital environment, technology has been interwoven into the response and management of crises. Read More

Operationalizing machine learning in processes

(McKinsey & Company) As organizations look to modernize and optimize processes, machine learning (ML) is an increasingly powerful tool to drive automation. Unlike basic, rule-based automation—which is typically used for standardized, predictable processes—ML can handle more complex processes and learn over time, leading to greater improvements in accuracy and efficiency. But a lot of companies are stuck in the pilot stage; they may have developed a few discrete use cases, but they struggle to apply ML more broadly or take advantage of its most advanced forms. A recent McKinsey Global Survey, for example, found that only about 15 percent of respondents have successfully scaled automation across multiple parts of the business. And only 36 percent of respondents said that ML algorithms had been deployed beyond the pilot stage Read More

Preparing for the ‘golden age’ of artificial intelligence and machine learning

(ZDNet) Can businesses trust decisions that artificial intelligence and machine learning are churning out in increasingly larger numbers? Those decisions need more checks and balances — IT leaders and professionals have to ensure that AI is as fair, unbiased, and as accurate as possible. This means more training and greater investments in data platforms. A new survey of IT executives conducted by ZDNet found that companies need more data engineers, data scientists, and developers to deliver on these goals. Read More

Moving beyond agile to become a software innovator

(McKinsey Digital) At the end of the movie The Candidate, Robert Redford is sitting in a hotel room surrounded by cheering staffers after his character has won the election for the US Senate. Looking a little perplexed and forlorn, he turns to his advisor and asks, “What do we do now?” Many executives who have led their businesses through successful agile programs can probably relate to Redford’s character. They have overseen sizable improvements in software product development thanks to agile; our Developer Velocity research shows that adoption of agile practices at the team level can be one of the most critical dimensions for companies that are in the early part of their journey. Read More

State Department sets out 3-year timeline for new data strategy

(fedscoop) The State Department has outlined plans to launch a new data strategy over the next three years, which it says will ensure the U.S. continues to have a world-leading diplomatic service. State’s new data strategy is centered on four goals including the cultivation of a data-focused culture, accelerated decision-making through analytics, and enhanced data governance, according to policy documents published Monday. “When our foreign affairs professionals are equipped with high-quality and timely data, we can help make the world safer, more just, and less divided,” the department said in the documents. Read More

NASA Transfers Air Traffic Management Tool Updates to FAA

(NASA) As part of an effort aimed at making aviation more sustainable, NASA has transferred findings from an air traffic management project to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for nationwide implementation, the two agencies announced at a media briefing Tuesday. Over the past six years, NASA’s Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) project demonstrated the benefits of a suite of airport operations tools known as Integrated Arrival, Departure, and Surface (IADS) technology. The tools, tested at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, and at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport in Texas, saved fuel, reduced carbon emissions, and increased information sharing between the FAA and industry. NASA provided the FAA with technology and knowledge from the demonstrations. Read More

Aircraft Noise: FAA Could Improve Outreach Through Enhanced Noise Metrics, Communication, and Support to Communities

(GAO@100) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) uses established policies to assess potential noise effects of implementing performance-based navigation (PBN) at airports. FAA has been implementing PBN to allow aircraft to fly more precise flight paths intended to reduce flying time, fuel use, and emissions, and PBN may reduce aircraft noise for some communities. FAA uses the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) metric to meet legal requirements in assessing how these more precise flight paths—which can concentrate noise over a smaller area—might affect noise levels at various locations surrounding airports. DNL accounts for the noise intensity, duration, frequency, and time of occurrence for flights above a particular location over an average day. Read More

Astronomers reveal strange clouds on ‘fluffy’ alien planet WASP-127b

( The atmosphere of an alien planet called WASP-127b has been observed in greater detail than ever before, surprising scientists taking a close look at the exoplanet. First, when probing different regions of WASP-127b’s atmosphere scientists detected sodium. Normally, the presence of this element would not come as much of a surprise in such an alien planet, but the element was found at a much lower altitude than expected, according to study leader Romain Allart, iREx/Université de Montréal and Université de Genève. Read More