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$800 million JAIC award goes to Booz Allen

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center announced Monday that Booz Allen Hamilton would be providing the military $800 million in AI technology specifically for warfighting initiatives. The contract is the largest the JAIC has awarded to date. The task order is for five years under the General Services Administration's Alliant 2 Governmentwide Acquisition Contract, and it covers AI product development, managing and labeling the DOD's data, and transitioning AI products into programs across the DOD, according to the JAIC. Civilian agencies will able to access the technology delivered by Booz Allen, but it's unclear how or if they would use DOD-specific tech. Jackson Barnett explains the deal.

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JAIC does back-office work, too

Another recent announcement by the JAIC shows that the team isn’t forgetting about technology that touches everyone at the DOD: the back-office applications that affect day-to-day business. As part of what it’s calling the “year of AI delivery,” the center intends to field AI-enabled systems under its “Business Process Transformation” initiative. Among the areas of concentration: two robotic process automation (RPA)-based challenges that focus on financial management systems and payroll. Jackson has this one, as well.

Catching up with Anil Cheriyan at TTS

The General Services Administration’s tech services team has increased its workload during the coronavirus pandemic as agencies seek help to stay operational during the crisis. Anil Cheriyan, director of the Technology Transformation Services, told FedScoop in an exclusive video interview that agencies’ demand for TTS’s services “has really grown significantly” during the pandemic. For instance, TTS’s Login.gov team assisted the Small Business Administration with the creation of the web portal for the Paycheck Protection Program. “This is the time for our teams to really shine,” he said. Watch Billy Mitchell's interview with Cheriyan.

SBA puts legacy systems under Login.gov

More about that TTS work: The Small Business Administration is using a boost from coronavirus response legislation to bring 16 legacy systems under the central authentication of Login.gov. The move is intended to help make it easier for businesses to log in to SBA websites to apply for and receive federal aid. Under the CARES Act, Login.gov was tasked with providing authentication and identity verification services to agencies that are allocating funding to the public. Legacy systems with their own, separate modes of authentication can be an impediment to adopting Login.gov. So instead of forcing everything over individually, SBA created a middle layer, called an “identity broker,” in-house. Dave Nyczepir has more.


Meeting a crisis head-on by refocusing IT service priorities

Because of the massive shift to telework, IT administrators have a window of opportunity to gain wider buy-in for simpler, more adaptable solutions that meet agency needs. Steve McMahon, Interim CIO at Splunk, can relate to what agency IT departments are going through. He shares some of the steps his organization had to take to adapt to a new operating environment — and suggests strategies that IT departments can use to address the expanded set of security risks. Listen here for more.

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