Federal Artificial Intelligence Landscape, 2021

Published: April 17, 2020

Federal Market AnalysisArtificial Intelligence/Machine LearningBig DataBudgetInnovationPolicy and LegislationResearch and Development

Deltek’s Federal Artificial Intelligence Landscape, 2021 report explores policy, budget, and contracting trends in the adoption and use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and related technologies by federal agencies.

As mission scope and complexity expand and data proliferation continues to grow, federal agencies are looking to emerging and advanced technologies to maximize the utility and impact of their massive data stores. Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and other automation solutions have emerged as key strategic priorities for agencies needing to improve mission effectiveness, stretch workforce capacity, and drive operational efficiencies. The Department of Defense and civilian agency early adopters, such as Department of Energy and NASA, have been pursuing AI R&D developments for years. The Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, the Veterans Administration and others have been ramping up their exploration of AI to meet diverse mission needs.

Interest in AI has gained significant momentum as national policies emphasize its importance to national security and economic growth. Federal agencies are discovering the diverse applications and outcomes that AI capabilities offer. The use of AI across federal agencies will continue to accelerate as policies, budgets, technology and expertise continue to align and mature.

Key Findings

  • Agency applications of artificial intelligence based on machine learning technology is accelerating, focusing on cyber offense and defense, robotics and autonomy, border security and health care.
  • Agencies are investing in artificial intelligence solutions, especially those that support services, to improve mission effectiveness, make evidence-based decisions and automate repetitive tasks.
  • The National Science Foundation’s FY 2021 budget request of $850M supports AI research and use for agency mission advancement while also promoting U.S. leadership in the technology. Agencies beyond the NSF are identifying additional funds to pilot AI projects.
  • Federal AI policies have evolved from vision-based initiatives to action-oriented guidance. Recent policies such as NITRD’s updated AI R&D Strategy, the First Year Action Plan and NIST’s AI standards development plan, place emphasis on specific steps agencies should take to advance the research, understanding and adoption of AI.
  • Although many of the larger, more visible AI investments are occurring at NASA and across the DOD, multiple civilian agencies are also investing in AI pilot projects, such as the IRS’ AI Pilot initiative and HHS’ Intelligent Automation/Artificial Intelligence (IAAI) solutions contract.
  • Spending in AI has expanded beyond science-focused agencies typically viewed as front-runners in the use of emerging technology. Investments across diverse agencies, such as the State Department, Transportation and Agriculture have grown from isolated prototypes to well-funded and established programs.
  • Critical Insight for Vendors

    Deltek’s Federal Artificial Intelligence Landscape, 2021 assesses the state of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption within the federal government. The report takes an in-depth look at the factors shaping the strategic and budgetary priorities governing artificial intelligence procurement.

    The report provides:

  • Analysis of the emerging AI policies and guidance directing the federal government’s strategic direction.
  • Insight into planned and requested budgets for AI initiatives.
  • Analysis of AI contracting patterns to date.
  • Use cases of early AI efforts and insight into potential opportunities.
  • Recommendations to help contractors maximize opportunities within the federal AI space.
  • Deltek’s Federal Artificial Intelligence Landscape, 2021 report is delivered in PowerPoint® format, including a PowerPoint® Executive Briefing, and an Excel® data workbook.

    Deltek’s Federal Artificial Intelligence Landscape, 2021


  • Purpose of the report
  • Scope and Methodology
  • Key Findings
  • Trends and Drivers

  • Artificial Intelligence Policy Landscape
  • Artificial Intelligence Budget Environment
  • Artificial Intelligence Investment Trends
  • Artificial Intelligence Use Cases and Opportunities
  • Conclusions and Recommendations