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Double AI spending, then double it again

Congress should double money for non-defense artificial intelligence research and development twice-over, in fiscal 2021 and 2022, according to new recommendations in a National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence quarterly report. “We believe that we are probably in the lead in global R&D. But we’re being pressed very hard by a number of competitors. And we need to increase our spending,” Bob Work, former deputy secretary of Defense and the vice chairman of the NSCAI, told reporters Wednesday. Such an action would have an "indirect benefit" in helping respond to massive national issues and emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic, said Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and the chairman of the commission. Billy Mitchell has more on the report.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

NIST to help with CMMC assessment standards

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is going to play a “core” role in helping set standards for third-party assessors to participate in the Department of Defense's new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). Katie Arrington, the CISO for the DOD acquisition and sustainment and top CMMC official, said Wednesday that though NIST will help with the standards, the governing CMMC accreditation board will have the ability to “modify” them. Having training, assessing and credentialing all housed under the one board has triggered questions about a potential conflict of interest. But NIST's role will help mitigate conflicts, and "the executive board has very strong ethical rules," Arrington assured. Jackson has the latest on CMMC

Former secretaries look to reform DHS

A group led by former Department of Homeland Security secretaries is looking to bring major reforms in July to improve DHS’s response to emerging threats, including cyberthreats and other tech issues. Dubbed the Future of DHS Project, national security experts will tackle not only the coronavirus pandemic but also "threats to democracy," including cyber-related issues such as election security, social media disinformation campaigns and the sabotage of critical infrastructure. “In the tech area, we’ve seen some great work being done by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, but it’s equally clear that a lot of what [Director] Chris Krebs is doing there isn’t getting anywhere near the attention or the support that it needs,” said Tom Warrick, the department’s first deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism policy. “And one of the things that we’re going to look at is the fact that DHS has added missions over the years, but the level of resources given to the department has not kept up.” The group's senior advisory board includes former Homeland Security secretaries Michael Chertoff, Jeh Johnson and Janet Napolitano. Dave Nyczepir talked to Warrick.

Federal agencies collaborate on developing 3D-printed masks

The Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and Department of Veterans Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to develop 3D printing models for masks as hospital systems run low on personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. Broadly the goal is to “jointly develop a response to COVID-19 that will ensure veterans and civilians have access to the most innovative medical solutions and technologies to support their care,” according to the MOU. As part of the partnership, the three agencies are connecting hospitals with 3D printing manufacturers and helping to develop models that medical facilities can 3D print. More on the partnership.

WATCH: The real deal behind IT modernization

FedScoop recently hosted its fourth annual IT Modernization Summit. At the conference, we spoke with top federal IT officials and leaders from industry about the latest in federal IT modernization and what exactly modernization means to them. Today, we're releasing videos from:


Improve security practices with better data insights

Federal agencies preparing modern cyberdefense plans can minimize the ultimate impact of an attack with better insights across their networks. That’s why IT executives should consider investing in a platform that’s able to collect, leverage and understand enterprise data, according to a new Splunk report. The report details how modern platform solutions, capable of operating as a “security nerve center,” are better suited than many specialized tools at identifying gaps in network defenses. Read more here.

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