Page 2 - CARAHSOFT, November/December 2021
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Building a Data-Driven Government
The government’s AI revolution
Agencies are ramping up their use of artificial intelligence for mission imperatives that seek to improve all aspects of society
PREVIOUSLY THE STUFF OF SCIENCE FICTION, artificial intelligence is becoming
more widespread thanks to a convergence of technology advances and government demand. AI can make sense of structured and unstructured data more quickly and effectively than humans ever could. It augments what people can accomplish, meaning agencies can tackle big, complex
are already using AI to spread disinformation, hone cyberattacks and gain a technological advantage on the battlefield. It also offers comprehensive recommendations for boosting AI development in the U.S. and emphasizes AI’s vast potential for good.
Experts say the use of trustworthy, reliable AI across government is essential to ensuring the public’s and agencies’ confidence in the technology and its outcomes. That mindset
materials, natural language processing, robotics, wireless spectrum monitoring and more” and adds that “these technologies must be developed and used in a trustworthy and responsible manner.” To that end, NIST is conducting fundamental and applied
AI research, evaluating the technical characteristics of trustworthy AI, and leading development of technical standards that promote innovation and trust in AI systems.
challenges faster and more effectively. The federal government created the
National Security Commission on AI in 2018 to make recommendations on how to advance the development of AI and related technologies for addressing national security and defense needs. The independent, bipartisan group of technologists, national security professionals, business executives and academic leaders released its final report in March.
“Americans have not yet grappled with
just how profoundly the [AI] revolution will impact our economy, national security and welfare,” the report states. “Much remains to be learned about the power and limits of AI technologies. Nevertheless, big decisions need to be made now to accelerate AI innovation to benefit the United States and to defend against the malign uses of AI.”
The 756-page report includes dire warning about the U.S. falling behind adversaries that
applies to all aspects of AI — including capturing and annotating the right data, training machine learning models, and updating models when the data changes. Agencies must be able to explain what the models are doing every step of the way while also ensuring that AI tools are constantly learning and getting “smarter” and more effective.
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks issued a memo in May that reaffirms DOD’s commitment to using AI in a way that is responsible, equitable, traceable, reliable and governable. “As the department develops, procures and deploys AI, these principles will be implemented not only in technology but also in enterprise operating structures and organizational culture,” the memo states.
On the civilian agency site, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s website notes that AI “is being used in genomics, image and video processing,
Boosting AI adoption through research and education
In a recent survey of FCW readers, 60% of respondents said the biggest obstacle to using AI was a lack of employees with the right skill set, followed closely by budget constraints (54%) and legacy technology that doesn’t support or integrate with AI (42%).
Fortunately, government leaders are looking for ways to facilitate AI adoption. The General Services Administration’s
AI Center of Excellence seeks “to develop AI solutions that address unique business challenges agency-wide. The team provides strategic tools and infrastructure support to rapidly discover use cases, identify applicable artificial intelligence methods, and deploy scalable solutions across the enterprise.”
In June, the Biden administration established a task force that will create a
Shutterstock/FCW Staff

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