U.S. government shutdown drags into fourth week amid stalemate

Reuters | January 14, 2019

President Donald Trump on Monday rejected a Republican call for temporarily reopening shuttered U.S. government agencies to encourage negotiations with Democrats over border security issues, as a partial government shutdown limped through its 24th day. About one-quarter of federal government operations have been shut down by a lack of funding since Dec. 22 after Trump demanded $5.7 billion this year from Congress for building a security wall on the southwest U.S. border.

Spotlight

On 17 December, Auckland Council agreed on its consultation items for its Annual Plan 2016/2017, with rating issues set to be at the forefront of the conversation with the community on its budget for the next financial year. The council’s governing body agreed to consult on the following items, some of which had been recommended by the Finance and Performance Committee before inclusion in the mayoral proposal last week.

Spotlight

On 17 December, Auckland Council agreed on its consultation items for its Annual Plan 2016/2017, with rating issues set to be at the forefront of the conversation with the community on its budget for the next financial year. The council’s governing body agreed to consult on the following items, some of which had been recommended by the Finance and Performance Committee before inclusion in the mayoral proposal last week.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Arthur selected to provide critical AI performance capabilities for Department of Defense

Arthur | February 19, 2022

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) has selected Arthur to deliver its industry-leading AI performance management solution as part of the Test and Evaluation (T&E) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA,) a $249M effort to accelerate production AI capabilities across the Department of Defense (DoD). This new vehicle will allow the DOD to leverage the Arthur platform for AI monitoring and optimization to deliver better results with accuracy, explainability, and fairness. Arthur's world-class research team has pioneered exclusive capabilities in computer vision, natural language processing (NLP), bias mitigation, and other key functional areas. With the rollout of the DoD's Ethical AI Principles—Responsible, Equitable, Traceable, Reliable, Governable—in February 2020, ensuring the appropriate foundation is in place for production AI capabilities is paramount. The Arthur team brings considerable expertise and commitment to the federal government, having successfully worked with DARPA, the IC, NSF, NIST, ARPA-E, Treasury, Air Force, Army, and Navy. About Arthur Arthur is the AI Performance Company. Our platform measures and improves machine learning models to deliver better results. We help data scientists, product owners, and business leaders accelerate model operations to optimize for accuracy, explainability, and fairness. Arthur's research-led approach to product development drives exclusive capabilities in computer vision, NLP, bias mitigation, and other critical areas. At Arthur, we're on a mission to make AI work for everyone, and we are deeply passionate about building ML technology to drive responsible results. About the DoD Joint Artificial Intelligence Center The Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) was established in 2018 to be the focal point of the DoD Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy to accelerate scaling AI and its impact across the Department. The mission of the JAIC is "to accelerate the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scale the Department-wide impact of AI, and synchronize DoD AI activities to expand Joint Force advantages." Working closely with the Services, Combatant Commands, and other Components, JAIC identifies appropriate use cases for AI across DoD, rapidly pilots solutions, and scales impact across its enterprise.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Databricks Receives FedRAMP High Authority to Operate Across Public Sector

Databricks | November 27, 2020

Databricks, the Data and AI Company, today declared that Microsoft Azure Databricks has gotten a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) High Authority to Operate (ATO). This approval approves Azure Databricks security and consistence for high-sway information investigation and AI over a wide scope of public area, industry, and endeavor use cases. FedRAMP is a normalized way to deal with security evaluation, approval, and nonstop checking for cloud administrations as characterized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The ATO was allowed by the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) which comprises of delegates from the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the General Services Administration (GSA). "At Veterans Affairs, we included Azure Databricks as part of our Microsoft Azure Authority to Operate (ATO)," said Joseph Fourcade, Lead Cyber Security Analyst, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Enterprise Cloud Solutions Office (ECSO). "When Databricks received FedRAMP High approval, we were able to move quickly to inherit that same Azure ATO and approve Azure Databricks for production workloads. Timing couldn't have been better, as we have been working with a number of VA customers implementing Databricks for critical programs." "Numerous federal agencies are looking to build cloud data lakes and leverage Delta Lake for a complete and consistent view of all their data," said Kevin Davis, VP, Public Sector at Databricks. "The power of data and AI are being used to dramatically enhance public services, lower costs and improve quality of life for citizens. Using Azure Databricks, government agencies have aggregated hundreds of data sources to improve citizen outreach, automated processing of hourly utility infrastructure IoT data for enabled predictive maintenance, deployed machine learning models to predict patient needs, and built dashboards to predict transportation needs and optimize logistics. FedRAMP High authorization for Azure Databricks further enables federal agencies to analyze all of their data for improved decision making and more accurate predictions." "We are pleased to add Azure Databricks to our portfolio of services approved for FedRAMP at the high impact level in Microsoft Azure Government," said Lily Kim, General Manager of Azure Government at Microsoft. "Azure Government provides the most trusted cloud for mission-critical government workloads. FedRAMP High approval for Azure Databricks enables government customers to build fast and reliable data lakes for innovative new use cases, such as risk management and predictive analytics." With this certification, clients would now be able to utilize Azure Databricks to handle the U.S. government's generally touchy, unclassified information in distributed computing conditions, including information that includes the insurance of life and monetary resources. From customized medical care and instruction to space investigation and energy research, Azure Databricks empowers associations to quicken new development while limiting danger when working with exceptionally touchy, private and public area information. With FedRAMP, associations have a steady method to assess the security of cloud arrangements utilizing NIST and FISMA characterized principles. FedRAMP offers a few degrees of affirmation and Azure Databricks has met the entirety of the necessities for approval for the most significant level of confirmation. Sky blue Databricks gets numerous other Azure administrations together with the FedRAMP High approval, empowering public area, undertaking and industry vertical clients to make and send cloud-based applications with certainty. About Databricks Databricks is the data and AI company. Thousands of organizations worldwide — including Comcast, Condé Nast, Nationwide and H&M — rely on Databricks' open and unified platform for data engineering, machine learning and analytics. Databricks is venture-backed and headquartered in San Francisco, with offices around the globe. Founded by the original creators of Apache Spark™, Delta Lake and MLflow, Databricks is on a mission to help data teams solve the world's toughest problems.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Hadean's Web 3.0 Tech to Power Ministry of Defence Project

Hadean | November 25, 2021

Web 3.0 start up, Hadean, today announce they have successfully secured a project with the MoD's Defence and Security Accelerator. Providing a joint solution along with Cervus, they will be working with British Army's Headquarters' Futures Team over the next 12 months to deliver "The Forge". The decision support system uses a number of emerging distributed and spatial web technologies designed to solve DASA's 'Simulating Future Battlespace Complexity' challenge. This joint venture speaks volumes to the power of true innovation that occurs within smaller companies. Increasingly complex battlespaces and new forms of threat require a data-driven approach for analysing scenarios to provide the optimal decision, but a number of incumbent processes remain inefficient. Often decisions are made through lengthy deliberations between various experts. These conversations may involve compromises, counter arguments and often subjective viewpoints. The nature of this process results in a slow to action organisations that can miss key deadlines and risk serious negative outcomes. The Forge looks to automate this process using a combination of new web 3.0 technologies. At the foundations, the Hadean Platform delivers the high demand computation in order to sufficiently power the parallelised simulations. It does this through a distributed cloud solution that offers invariant scalability across any on premise, cloud or edge environment. On the front end, these simulations are realised by Cervus and then run through their analytics engine. "Defence is undergoing an infrastructural uprooting in the shape of distributed computing and web 3.0 technologies. This joint contract between Cervus and Hadean with the MoD demonstrates a commitment to digitalisation in order to gain the technological upperhand by leveraging our combined solutions. In the same way that social interaction is changing in the form of the metaverse, single synthetic environments for the military are becoming more complex and immersive. Additionally, our platforms are enabling in depth analysis of defence scenarios, providing real time decision support to decision makers. Hadean's scalability provides the compute power necessary for these demanding applications." Hadean CEO, Craig Beddis Alan Roan, MD of Cervus.ai, said "Cervus are immensely proud to be working with our partners at Hadean. The compute power needed to run multiple simulations to quickly examine different courses of action has limited the way we deliver decision support to date. Integrating our analytics engine, Hive 2.0, with MAK and Antycip's world class simulation products and Hadean's distributed computing platform, will significantly reduce the associated costs and increase the speed of wargaming and experimentation. We also recognise training and operation applications in this capability, similar to those which we recently demonstrated at the recent Army Warfighting Experiment 21 and we look forward to prototyping at pace, alongside the British Army, supported by the excellent DASA team." Introducing The Forge The Forge is a three pronged approach to delivering operational insights: Top down – from policy or operational drivers (planned capability/architectural innovation) Bottom-up – from lessons learnt and capability gaps (contingent improvement/incremental innovation) Solution-led – from technology opportunities, COTS/MOTS, or politically driven decisions(opportunity exploitation/ disruptive innovation) It creates powerful, workable solutions by: Developing and testing innovative solutions to pressing strategic issues, capability gaps and operational optimisation. Injecting agility into the strategic decision cycle, enabling continuous testing of concepts, and the rapid development of capabilities and doctrine Enabling effective outcomes to avoid technology shock, counter adversary and reduce operational risk across the breadth of operations At a foundational level, the distributed cloud platform provided by Hadean does the computational 'heavy lifting', running and orchestrating simulations and interaction between them. Together with Cervus, Hadean's technologies deliver a more automated approach that is currently defining emerging trends in IT. This project will further bolster the significance of web 3.0 technologies, across verticals and, demonstrates the Ministry of Defence's commitment to innovation, and working with disruptive organisations. About Hadean Founded in 2015, Hadean are a venture backed startup, reimagining distributed, spatial and scalable computing for web 3.0 and the metaverse. The distributed cloud platform provides the foundations of web 3.0 applications for the metaverse, enterprise organisations and the defence sector. Customers include CAE, Microsoft, Minecraft, the Francis Crick Institute and Cervus.

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