Articles on Innovation

NIST Lays Out Roadmap for Developing Artificial Intelligence Standards

Federal standards for artificial intelligence must be strict enough to prevent the tech from harming humans, yet flexible enough to encourage innovation and get the tech industry on board, according to NIST. The agency released Aug. 12 its much-anticipated guidance on how the government should approach developing technical and ethical standards for artificial intelligence. Though it doesn’t include any specific regulations or policies, the plan outlines multiple initiatives that would help the government promote the responsible use of AI and lists a number of high-level principles that should inform any future standards for the tech.

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Energy is Updating its Cyber Posture Assessment Tool

The Energy Department is upgrading its toolkit for measuring how effectively organizations protect themselves against cyberattacks. The department on Aug. 14 announced it would update the Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model, a framework that helps federal agencies and private companies better assess the strength of their cyber defenses. The model was last revised in 2014, and the latest version reflects recent advances in both digital threats and protections .

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FedBizOpps Will Be Gone Before the End of the Year

The Federal Business Opportunities, or FedBizOpps, website will be shutting down before the end of 2019, as the comprehensive database of government contracting opportunities moves to a new location. By the end of next year, 10 acquisition-focused websites managed by the General Services Administration will be merged together under the new SAM.gov. Here’s what you need to know about the transition.

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OMB, GSA Will Review All Agency IT Spend Reporting Tools Before Purchase

The Trump administration is pushing agencies to report all their IT spending through a standardized framework and is now standardizing the acquisition of the tools in support of that effort. OMB has already required by 2022 that all IT spending flowing through federal agencies must be categorized using a specific accounting framework called Technology Business Management (TBM), a schema used to map spending to outcomes. Now, OMB is requiring all TBM tool procurements to flow through GSA’s IT Schedule 70, and the agencies are establishing a TBM Task Order Review Board, or TORB, that will review all pending tool purchases.

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IRS Tries Agile Acquisition for Data Tools

The IRS, which still regularly uses software and systems that are more than 60 years old, is hoping a new pilot program to acquire new technology will help change that.  A draft solicitation released August 2 seeks proposals for a Treasury-wide Data Governance and Analytics Initiative that will make use of a new procurement vehicle rolled out last year, dubbed Pilot IRS, to develop new ways to automate and refine departmental contract data. It will also serve as an overarching framework for multiple technology pilots down the road as officials essentially attempt to create a sandbox for innovation inside the agency that is unmoored from the traditionally sluggish and bureaucratic federal procurement process.

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Let freedom and innovation ring

Driven by the consumerization of IT, agencies at every level of government are struggling to respond to the demands of a new generation of users for more open and flexible service delivery. Consumers want their agencies to deliver the same ease-of-use and on-demand responsiveness they have with their own devices and social media platforms

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Delaying DoD Cloud Contract Could Harm National Security

The great power race to dominate advanced computing technologies – cloud applications, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) – is intensifying. China is seeking to replace the U.S. as the dominant player in these areas. The United States, in general, and the Department of Defense (DoD), in particular, are responding to these threats by increasing investments in advanced computing technologies. But time is of the essence, and any delays in moving forward on creating an enterprise-wide cloud for the Pentagon could put national security at risk.

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