DoD to Spend a Quarter-Billion Dollars Reorganizing Its Data for AI
JAIC leaders have called the lack of "data readiness" the biggest impediment to fielding artificial-intelligence tools.
The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center is out with a $241 million contract vehicle to help the Defense Department become ready for AI development by preparing data for the emerging technology.
The Data Readiness for Artificial Intelligence Development services solicitation covers a five-year performance period and will result in multiple basic ordering agreements, according to the solicitation documents published Wednesday to beta.sam.gov.
“The purpose of this Performance Work Statement (PWS) is to help the DoD and Government users prepare data for use in AI applications by providing an easily accessible path to access the cutting-edge commercial services needed to meet the complex technical challenges involved in preparing data for AI,” the documents read. “Through access to AI data preparation tools, capabilities, and services, the DoD will be positioned to effectively prepare AI data to support the full range of AI activities across the DoD.”
The PWS indicates the services the Defense Department is looking for under this contract include curating, preparing, securing, and encrypting data for AI, securing, packaging and delivering AI tools, and making sure those tools can be integrated into cloud platforms.
Jane Pinelis, the JAIC’s testing and evaluation chief, said in February the contract and another previously issued multiaward contract for test and evaluation services will help connect DOD components to industry partners with readily available services facilitating AI adoption. Data readiness has been one of the biggest impediments thwarting fielding of AI in DOD, she said.
“One of the ways to avoid the valley of death and one of the ways to get this technology into the warfighters’ hands is to be able to at least readily connect those vendors, those industry partners that have the technology to the warfighter,” Pinelis said. “And that connection is funding and that connection is a contract vehicle, and that's the connection that we've been working really hard on providing to the rest of the department.”
Questions on the request for proposal are due April 7, and submissions are due April 28.