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Another step for Trusted Workforce?

An “aggressive” effort has led to a nearly 17% increase in processing of new security clearances, year-over-year, said Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. And progress has led DSCA to consider what else it can do to maintain momentum. As the successes of the Trusted Workforce 2.0 project kick in, Evanina said it might be time to "enhance" those reforms, which represent the first IT-fueled overhaul of the background-check process for federal agencies. “We are now approaching 180,000 [cases] in the inventory backlog right now, which is unheard of — probably haven’t seen those numbers for a decade,” Evanina said during an Intelligence & National Security Alliance conversation Wednesday. It was as high as 725,000 in the first half of 2018. Dave Nyczepir has more.

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The Air Force wants more hacker friends

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, says he wants to have enough bug bounty programs for civilian hackers to “make a living” of finding flaws in the service’s technology. Freelance cybersecurity researchers already have had multiple chances to hack the Air Force's public websites through traditional bug-bounty programs, but Roper sees opportunities to expand beyond those. For now, the department will be hosting its own “Aerospace Village” at the upcoming DEF CON conference — held online this year, instead of in Las Vegas — where satellites will be up for grabs for white-hat hackers to do their worst on. Jackson Barnett catches up with the Air Force's efforts.

NVIDIA makes a National Labs sale

The COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium has added another supercomputer to its effort to speed the work of vaccine researchers, with the NVIDIA DGX A100 now operational at Argonne National Laboratory. CEO Jensen Huang says the machine is designed for artificial intelligence applications, “for the end-to-end machine learning workflow — from data analytics to training to inference.” The compute power “will help researchers explore treatments and vaccines and study the spread of the virus, enabling scientists to do years’ worth of AI-accelerated work in months or days,” says Rick Stevens, an associate lab director at Argonne. Dave has the latest on the consortium.

In search of ML that can help RPA

The power of robotic process automation (RPA) to reduce humans' workloads is well-established, but the technology can always be tweaked. With that in mind, the Department of Defense's Silicon Valley-based innovation agency is looking for a machine learning (ML) platform that can boost the Pentagon’s existing uses of RPA for business tasks. The goal of the Defense Innovation Unit's solicitation is to help nudge RPAs into more complex problem-solving territory by providing pattern recognition and instructions on how to adjust automation to fit changing scenarios. Jackson explains DIU's solicitation.

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