Select Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Requirements in the FY 2023 NDAA

Published: January 25, 2023

Federal Market AnalysisArtificial Intelligence/Machine LearningBig DataDEFENSEInformation TechnologyNational Defense Authorization ActPolicy and Legislation

The FY 2023 NDAA contains AI/ML requirements that could lead to contract opportunities.

This week’s post continues our review of technology provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023. Having covered a few select provisions last week suggesting that the Department of Defense has requirements for cloud computing related services and/or capabilities, this week’s post takes a look at a few provisions dealing with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).

Strategic Management Dashboard

Section 916 calls for the Secretary of Defense to “conduct a demonstration of a strategic management dashboard to automate the data collection and data visualization of the primary management goals of the Department of Defense.” The term “strategic management dashboard” means a system leveraging AI/ML capabilities that provide the data necessary for leadership to make strategic management decisions for the department.

The dashboard must:

  • Provide real-time monitoring of the DOD’s progress meeting its management goals
  • Provide an integrated analytics capability
  • Offer integration with the framework required for measuring the DOD’s progress toward covered elements of management reform
  • Incorporate the DOD’s strategic management plan as required by section 904(d) of the NDAA of Fiscal Year 2008
  • Incorporate elements of the most recent annual DOD performance plan required by section 1115(b) of title 31, United States Code

This dashboard sounds similar to some already in use across the department. For example, the Army developed an Army Leadership Dashboard a few years back that leaders could use to track various initiatives in the department. Industry should probably expect a sources sought notice or request for information related to the strategic management dashboard at some point in FY 2023. It remains to be seen if a current analytics capability could be adapted for the purpose or if the DOD will go with a cloud-based system offered by a trusted partner.

Establishing Projects for Data Management, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Solutions

Section 1513 directs the Deputy Secretary of Defense to “establish priority enterprise projects for data management, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital solutions for both business efficiency and warfighting capabilities.” As part of this effort, the Deputy Secretary of Defense is to ensure that data science and technology are “core disciplines” in the DOD. Defense components will be required to make “their data available for use pursuant to the memorandum of the Deputy Secretary of Defense dated May 5, 2021, and titled Creating Data Advantage.”

The provision also makes the Deputy Secretary responsible for adopting “measurable actions to acquire, preserve, and grow the population of government and contractor personnel with expertise in data management, AI/ML, and Digital solutions.” Components must “use data management practices, analytics processes, enterprise cloud computing environments, and operational test environments that are … approved by the head of the component and the Deputy Secretary.”

The Deputy Secretary is also responsible for “implementing cybersecurity and AI/ML security solutions, including preventative and mitigative technical solutions, and red team assessments, to protect Artificial Intelligence systems, data, development processes, and applications from adversary actions.”

Section 1513’s language makes it appear that the DOD will require contractor support for this requirement, particularly as far as providing data scientists and analysts is concerned, but also for performing assessments and offering cybersecurity capabilities. As usual, industry partners are advised to keep their eyes and ears open for procurements related to this section.