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Navigating the Federal AI Landscape—with a Guide – January 29

The Federal AI landscape is enormous, and the terrain varies widely. Whether you’re entering for the first time or hiking in a new area, DWPA’s AI Innovation Cell and AI Landscape report are the map and compass you need to avoid missteps and wasted time.

If you were dropped into unfamiliar terrain with a map and compass, you could navigate to any destination. But if you had to navigate without a map and compass, you’d make a lot of guesses. 

Is that my destination I see, or something else in the landscape? How far can I follow this river? Does the ravine get too steep to walk? Is that peak the actual summit or a false summit? 

With each guess leading to new discovery, you might stack guesses on guesses as you “correct.” 

Add some weather, makeshift shelters, finding food and water, and the occasional predator, and could spend a long time not reaching your destination. At potentially great cost. 

This describes navigating the Federal AI landscape, today. The landscape is enormous and varies widely. It contains some known features and paths, but much is untamed and unmarked. Here are a few noteworthy features of that landscape: 

  • Some agencies have used artificial intelligence for decades. But Defense, Intelligence, and Civilian sectors have different histories of use, needs, budgets, and suppliers. Do you know how AI manifests itself in mission and business priorities? Do you know what customers will buy next? 
  • Generative AI use is much newer, and users are fewer in number. As programs begin their own navigation of that terrain, they have more questions than answers. Do you know their environment well-enough to guide their journey?
  • The Executive Branch has issued numerous complex strategies, frameworks, guidance, policies, procedures, and blueprints. Some protect missions. Some protect civil rights. Some blend the two. Do you know what’s foremost on the minds of potential customers?
  • The government is concerned about civil rights violations in AI-supported analysis and decision making. Do you know how to meet these requirements during solution development? In business development – especially in early requirements-shaping conversations – do you know what to say to demonstrate your knowledge of and compliance with the requirements?
  • Some AI legislation has been passed, and Congress has more in the hopper. Add to these Executive Orders, OMB directives and proposed regulations; budgets and budget artifacts; agency strategies and frameworks; standards-setting documents; SBIR/STTR releases, OTA solicitations, and R&D announcements; Congressional testimony and Committee reports; GAO and CRS reports; and trade regulations. Do you know where to watch and read to stay up on developments that will impact your business? 
  • The Biden Administration’s October 30, 2023 “Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence” contained 186 shall statements and 98 deadlines. Do you have the resources and expertise to know which affect you?
  • Dual-use featured prominently in this EO, addressing AI and generative AI, and clearly describing when export control laws and regulations applied. Dual-use controls might apply to entities never before covered. Do you know if they’ll apply to you?

The Federal AI landscape presents daunting competitive, contracting, and project management challenges for existing and new AI solution providers. DWPA’s Federal AI Landscape market intelligence report will provide the map and compass you need to navigate the environment and meet those challenges. 

The scope of change and opportunity is enormous. A single example is the just-released Department of Defense (DoD) 2023 ‘Data, Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence Adoption Strategy,’ which focuses on longstanding goals for a “unified approach across data, analytics, and AI activities; an educated, empowered workforce skilled at incorporating commercial teams and tools; continued advanced research and rapid experimentation; and effective integration with our Allies and partners.” The DWPA Federal AI Landscape will forecast where that strategy is likely to lead to help you shape opportunities that are likely to follow.  

It’ll also track the DoD’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office’s effort to understand how DoD might accelerate the adoption of generative AI to support warfighters. It’ll also evaluate DoD objectives in conjunction with mandates from the new FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which signals an urgent need for AI proficiency backed by appropriations exceeding $34B for AI/Machine learning (ML) technologies and basic research.  

The Federal AI Landscape report is being developed by DWPA’s AI Innovation Cell. The Cell is staffed with select agency, technology, and business development experts from nearly 500 company Associates. Using primary sources and comprehensive research, the Cell analyzes and tracks the “features” of the landscape noted above, plus more, to provide clients actionable information about the who, what, where, how, and when of Federal AI opportunities for client capabilities. And with the depth of DWPA’s agency experts, you’ll understand the why

DWPA will begin taking subscriptions for the Federal AI Landscape report and AI Innovation Cell in March 2024. Contact Ted.Milone@DWPAssociates.com or Michael.Dougherty@DWPAssociates.com in our Market Intelligence section for more information.

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