NewsBrief September 11, 2020

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: September 11, 2020

U.S. Department of Energy to Provide $16 Million for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Research

( WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will provide $16 million for advanced research in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) for both scientific investigation and the management of complex systems. The funding will support two sets of projects. The first set focuses on the development of ML and AI for predictive modeling and simulation for research across the physical sciences. The second set of projects focuses on basic ML and AI research for “decision support” in managing complex processes similar to those found in self-driving cars, where ML and AI can make or aid in making decisions in real time. Read More

DoD takes next step in acquisition reform, renews calls for contractor stimulus

(Federal News Network) The Defense Department just took another step toward its goal of modernizing its acquisition system. Deputy Secretary for Defense David Norquist signed DoD Directive 5000.01 on Sept. 8, which governs the roles and responsibilities for DoD’s adaptive acquisition framework. “That, along with 5000.02, which was already signed out, really gives us the framework for how to move forward. We have a much more flexible way of doing business now codified in policy,” Ellen Lord, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment, said during the Sept. 9 Defense News Conference. Read More

Pentagon, Defense Contractors Are Out Of Step On Tech Innovation, GAO Finds

(Nextgov) Two years after the Pentagon set out to spend billions on 10 breakthrough research and engineering efforts, defense contractors instead are putting most of their money in less ambitious research projects. The development gap between the military and its suppliers troubled investigators at the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, who determined in a report released Thursday that the Defense Department isn’t keeping good watch over those private efforts and doesn’t know how much of it would fit into the military’s tech goals. Read More

Pentagon to pit AI against human pilots in live fighter trials

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Wednesday that the Pentagon intends to conduct live trials pitting tactical aircraft controlled by artificial intelligence against human pilots in 2024. The announcement comes three weeks after an AI algorithm defeated a human pilot in a simulated dogfight between F-16s, something Esper described as an example of the “tectonic impact of machine learning” for the Defense Department’s future. Read More

DIU, Google bring AI to cancer detection

(fedscoop) The Defense Innovation Unit has partnered with Google to bring artificial intelligence to cancer screenings done at select military and veterans hospitals. The deal is supported by the Joint AI Center, which will provide funding and technical expertise as Google Cloud’s tech is integrated into the center’s Warfighter Health initiative. The company will provide augmented reality microscopes with cancer detection tools for research purposes only, at least at first. Read More

DISA to deliver web-browsing protection to 1.5M users

(FCW) The Defense Department’s IT agency is beginning production on its tool that allows internet users to browse without exposing DOD’s network to cyber vulnerabilities on non-government websites. The Defense Information Systems Agency awarded its first other transaction authority production contract for $199 million to By Light Professional IT Services to support its cloud-based internet isolation (CBII) pilot program, the agency announced August 19. DISA previously indicated it wanted to scale the program from the initial 100,000 users to 3.5 million as the Defense Department has embraced telework on unprecedented levels this year to cope with COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

How Firms Can Become More Resilient in the New Normal

(Knowledge @ Wharton) Emerging from the pandemic, tomorrow’s successful businesses will make themselves more resilient to unexpected crises. They will intensify the use of digital technologies in cloud computing, cyber security, cognitive and artificial intelligence tools and the Internet of Things. Empowered with these tools, they will also have greater flexibility in managing costs and the agility to engage more effectively with their customers as changes occur in the way goods and services are delivered and consumed. Those are the key takeaways from a new Deloitte Consulting Report issued in August titled, “Save-to-Thrive: Enterprise Transformation and Performance Improvement Strategies During the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Deloitte conducted the study, which is based on a survey of executives, in collaboration with Christopher Ittner, Wharton accounting professor and chair of the School’s accounting department. Read More