The Department of Defense (DoD) is experimenting with AI technologies to help with contract writing and other ways to speed up Federal acquisition processes, a Pentagon official said this week.
Bonnie Evangelista, who is Tradewind execution lead within DoD’s Office of the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer, talked about the department’s move to test more AI technologies to advance acquisitions goals during ATARC’s Federal IT Modernization Summit on Feb. 8.
“We’re working on a prototype, it’s an AI-powered contract writing capability,” said Evangelista, who added that effort has succeeded thus far in creating a “working prototype.”
“Whether it’s that, or it’s changing people’s mindsets about how you can use acquisition authorities to go faster or to get a better end-state for your user … we’re trying it all,” she said.
The push for more AI technology to shoulder some of the acquisition load reflects DoD’s desire to move beyond some of the more archaic means in use in the acquisition process – like using paper-based processes.
“We’re identifying first and foremost pain points and challenges in the process,” she said. “And then it’s up to the developer to help us use the technology or adopt the technology in a way that allows it to either go faster, better, cheaper.”
Acqbot.com is the AI tool that Evangelista and her agency is testing, and the proof of concept is becoming clear.
“I don’t think it’s going to take a massive amount of data to nuance or train the model – no AI has an out- of-the-box solution,” Evangelista said.
She also emphasized the need for more AI-centric processes and training going forward.
“Cyber wars are going to happen the next couple of few years and one of the things that we’re focusing on is can the AI help practitioners or problem owners’ use cases and mission,” Evangelista said.