Congress, News

AI-Powered Automation Can Be Both a Part of the Problem and Part of the Solution

Much as a character in the 1960s movie The Graduate said “the future is plastics,” government today has identified digital technology as key to its ability to operate both now and in the future. Government’s growing focus on technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and automated processes is well-documented. While many of these goals are aspirational, some advances already demonstrate…

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 60 total views

Congress, News

At-Home Temperature Monitoring Is How We Reduce Diabetic Amputations for More Veterans

Diabetic amputations are impacting the lives of veterans on a massive scale, but they’re a huge problem hiding in plain sight. Diabetes is the most common reason a veteran is admitted to a Veterans Affairs hospital. In fact, one in four veterans in the VA health system have diabetes, and many are familiar with these statistics.  But it’s not just…

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 69 total views

Congress, News

Can Biden Deliver Better ‘Customer Experience’ for Americans Than His Predecessors?

The Biden Administration has announced a new “Customer Experience and Service Delivery” initiative, promising some pretty specific and measurable actions, not just high-minded rhetoric.  For example, it includes 36 customer experience commitments across 17 federal agencies focused on “the moments that matter most in people’s lives” such as retiring, travelling, and paying for college. It also focuses on reducing administrative…

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 63 total views

Congress, News

Infrastructure Law’s Digital Equity Goals Are Key to Smart Cities that Work for Everyone

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, 2021, differs from past infrastructure investments not only in its size but also its emphasis on addressing long-standing and persistent racial injustice. This major investment comes at a time when smart-city initiatives, which aim to use technology to make cities more responsive to their…

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 88 total views

Congress, News

Trailblazing Women Who Broke into Engineering in the 1970s Reflect on What’s Changed – and What Hasn’t

Engineering in the U.S. has long been – and continues to be – a male-dominated profession. Fifty years ago, it looked like that might change. In 1970, the percentage of women majoring in engineering was less than 1%. In 1979, that number was 9%. Many hoped women would continue to enter the field at the same rate. But that’s not…

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Congress, News

Federal Health Care Organizations Seek New Prescription for Managing Device Vulnerability 

After 2020’s performance as the worst year on record for data breaches, data protection is a huge concern for IT leaders. Data protection is also becoming a matter of public safety, as ransomware attacks frequently disrupt operations at hospitals, pipelines, food processing plants and other critical enterprises for profit.  It’s not just the private health care system that’s at risk. The…

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 109 total views

Congress, News

How Governments Can Protect Themselves Against Fraud in Times of Crisis

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, governments around the world scrambled to provide small businesses with financial relief to weather the storm. In a world without in-person customers and a consumer base of individuals losing their jobs, it became imperative for governments to provide companies with financial support to keep them in business. The U.S. federal government eventually dispersed more than…

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 64 total views

Congress, News

Employers Have Been Offering the Wrong Office Amenities

Before you read any further, take a long, slow, deep breath. Congratulations! If you’re sitting in a typical American home, office building, or school, about 3 percent of the air you breathed in recently came out of the lungs of the people in the room with you right now. Breathing in one another’s air is kind of nasty when you…

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 130 total views

Congress, News

The Failure of Government’s Post-COVID Imagination

The 9/11 Commission Report had a jarring conclusion: The core problems of the terror attacks stemmed from a “failure of imagination” in anticipating the risks the nation faced. Now, 20 years later, we’re falling into another failure of imagination, this time about the future of work in government.  The “future of work” has received a great deal of attention, but…

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 74 total views

Congress, News

FITARA Scores Are the Push Agencies Need to Improve Basic Federal Cyber Hygiene

Unsurprisingly, the key topic of discussion around the FITARA 12.0 Scorecard was cybersecurity. Few agencies are doing it well, many don’t have the strongest cyber posture, and improvement is needed throughout the federal government. Agencies are under a sharper political and regulatory microscope and are being pushed to engineer better defenses. During the FITARA hearing on July 28, while the…

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 113 total views

Congress, News

Alexa and Siri Won’t Make Your Kids Bossy

Does hanging out with Alexa or Siri affect the way kids communicate with people? Probably not, researchers report. A new study finds kids are sensitive to context when it comes to conversation. Chatting with a robot is now part of many families’ daily lives, thanks to conversational agents such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Recent research shows that children…

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 109 total views

Congress, News

Automation Is the Key to Continuous Cybersecurity Compliance 

The federal government’s growing use of cloud services and the recent executive order encouraging adoption of cloud service offerings, or CSOs, is putting pressure on agencies and cloud service providers, or CSPs, to continuously monitor and manage those services in order to stay compliant with federal regulations. It’s a tall order. The scale and complexity of maintaining compliance can quickly…

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 57 total views

Congress, News

‘Get Out Now’ – Inside the White House on 9/11, According to the Staffers Who Were There

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, I anticipated a busy but relatively calm day at the White House. I was the special assistant to the president for management and administration, and President George W. Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, promoting the No Child Left Behind legislation. The senior official in the White House was Vice President Dick Cheney. First lady Laura…

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 120 total views,  1 views today

Congress, News

5 Steps to Protecting Federal Data Repositories in the Cloud

Federal government organizations are storing, accessing and sharing more of their data in the cloud. Federal cloud-computing contracts were expected to grow by $500 million year over year to reach $6.6 billion in fiscal 2020, and then increase to $8.5 billion by fiscal 2023, according to Bloomberg Government. The cloud gives agencies the flexibility, for example, to allow employees to…

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 76 total views

Congress, News

‘Noisy’ Data Can Worsen Credit Inequality

“Noisy” data can trip up artificial intelligence tools that calculate credit risk, leading to disadvantages for low-income and minority borrowers, research finds. For aspiring home buyers, getting a mortgage often comes down to one talismanic number: the credit score. Banks and other lenders are turning to artificial intelligence to develop increasingly sophisticated models for scoring credit risk. But even though…

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 145 total views

Congress, News

Data Privacy Laws in the US Protect Profit but Prevent Sharing Data for Public Good – People Want the Opposite

In 2021, an investigation revealed that home loan algorithms systematically discriminate against qualified minority applicants. Unfortunately, stories of dubious profit-driven data uses like this are all too common. Meanwhile, laws often impede nonprofits and public health agencies from using similar data – like credit and financial data – to alleviate inequities or improve people’s well-being. Legal data limitations have even…

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 67 total views

Congress, News

Developing a Holistic Approach to Multicloud Security

As federal agencies continue to move applications and workloads to multicloud domains, security will have to keep up with the demands of these sprawling environments, especially with the increase in cyberattacks that are more sophisticated, targeted and widespread. Multicloud environments add more complexity to federal networks that now extend beyond their boundaries to accommodate the needs of a mobile and…

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 95 total views

Congress, News

An AI Expert Explains Why It’s Hard to Give Computers Something You Take for Granted: Common Sense

Imagine you’re having friends over for lunch and plan to order a pepperoni pizza. You recall Amy mentioning that Susie had stopped eating meat. You try calling Susie, but when she doesn’t pick up, you decide to play it safe and just order a margherita pizza instead. People take for granted the ability to deal with situations like these on…

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 67 total views

Congress, News

The Internet Archive Has Been Fighting for 25 Years to Keep What’s on the Web from Disappearing – and You Can Help

This year the Internet Archive turns 25. It’s best known for its pioneering role in archiving the internet through the Wayback Machine, which allows users to see how websites looked in the past. Increasingly, much of daily life is conducted online. School, work, communication with friends and family, as well as news and images, are accessed through a variety of…

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 151 total views