Defense

DOD taps Alliant 2 for AI

artificial intelligence (vs148/Shutterstock.com) 

The Defense Department's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) tapped Booz Allen Hamilton for a five-year, $800 million contract to develop AI for warfighting operations.

The General Services Administration (GSA) announced the contract award on May 18, saying DOD used its Alliant 2 government wide acquisition contract for the award.

In a "transformational shift," said the announcement, DOD will embed AI into decision-making and data analysis across its operations. The contract, it said, also aligns with the White House's Executive Order on AI that looks to leverage the technology to tackle unique challenges across government.

"The Joint Warfighting mission initiative will provide the Joint Force with AI-enabled solutions vital to improving operational effectiveness in all domains," said Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the DoD Joint Artificial Intelligence Center in the joint May 18 GSA/DOD statement. "This contract will be an important element as the JAIC increasingly focuses on fielding AI-enabled capabilities that meet the needs of the warfighter and decision-makers at every level," he said.

According to the statement, task orders from the contract for products and services will include data labeling, data management and conditioning, as well as move AI into new and existing DOD programs.

According to GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, the contract shows the importance of pairing the agency's Federal Acquisition Service and its Technology Transformation Service and TTS' Centers of Excellence to drive new capabilities for its federal customers.

"This award represents an important step in the JAIC's delivery of AI solutions across the Department of Defense," she said. "I'm thrilled that the merger of TTS and FAS in 2017 continues to reap benefits for our customers."

TTS Director Anil Cheriyan said the contract shows that the CoE and JAIC "continue to learn from each other and identify lessons that can be shared broadly across the federal space."

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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