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DOD targets AI disaster response in new RFI

The Department of Defense has big plans for artificial intelligence in 2020, starting with a new solicitation in search of information from industry on existing AI capabilities that can support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The General Services Administration, on the behalf of DOD’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), issued a request for information on AI and emerging technologies to enable disaster response, namely through drone-based search and rescue missions during events like wildfires, hurricanes and floods. The solicitation says "the Government desires an end-state environment where human-resources are not required to constantly watch the sensor, but they can be cued to respond when something of interest is identified.” See more from the new RFI.

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GSA pushes forward with ban on Huawei, ZTE in 2020

The General Services Administration will kick off 2020 moving forward with a federal ban on contracting with vendors tied to Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE via the supply chain. While the refresh is slated for Jan. 15, agencies have until Aug. 13 to comply with the ban laid out in Section 889(a)(1)(B) of the National Defense Authorization Act of fiscal 2019, according to a notice from GSA. And already, large and small telecom, IT, cybersecurity, real estate, and construction companies have expressed concerns GSA’s broad definition of what’s covered could make it hard to schedule contracts. Dave Nyczepir has more.

Shoddy IT strategy impacts sexual harassment claims system

A congressional rules enforcement office has struggled to develop an IT strategy, which impacted the effectiveness of a new system it launched for securely making discrimination and harassment claims. According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights has been shoddy with planning for and managing its IT modernization to support the employment rules it enforces for more than 30,000 legislative employees. And ultimately, that led to a poor rollout of the system it calls SOCRATES — a secure, electronic harassment claims reporting system. Dave takes you inside OCWR's troubles.

U.S. Army bans Chinese-made TikTok app

The U.S. Army has banned soldiers' use of TikTok, sister publication CyberScoop reported Thursday. Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, an Army spokeswoman, said the military branch considers TikTok a “cyberthreat” and that personnel may not use the app on government phones. Some 1.3 billion people globally use TikTok, a company with ties to the Chinese government, to create short videos. See more on CyberScoop.

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