Pentagon cancels US$10bn JEDI cloud contract
The US Department of Defence explained the contract no longer met its current needs due to the “shifting technology environment”, but did not mention the conflict between the tech companies.
"JEDI was developed at a time when the Department’s needs were different and both the CSPs technology and our cloud conversancy was less mature. In light of new initiatives like JADC2 and AI and Data Acceleration (ADA), the evolution of the cloud ecosystem within DoD, and changes in user requirements to leverage multiple cloud environments to execute mission, our landscape has advanced and a new way-ahead is warranted to achieve dominance in both traditional and non-traditional warfighting domains," said John Sherman, acting DoD Chief Information Officer.
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, was awarded to Microsoft in 2019, and became subject to legal challenges almost immediately. Amazon Web Services, went to court arguing that the Pentagon's process was influenced by politics, and was flawed and unfair.
The Jedi system was designed to replace the DoD's old computer networks with one single cloud system, which would have hosted classified secrets and provided artificial intelligence-based analysis to the military.
Microsoft’s President of US Regulated Industries Toni Townes-Whitley commented on the cancellation of the contract: "It's clear the DoD trusts Microsoft and our technology, and we're confident that we'll continue to be successful as the DoD selects partners for new work."
“We continue to focus on the future – and on our customers. One contract has never, and will never, define our relationship with the DoD or any customer. Our decades-long partnership with the DoD will continue – and we stand ready to support our nation’s men and women in uniform as they address our national security needs,” he added.
Microsoft and Amazon will now be able to bid for the US military's Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) project, which is described as "a multi-cloud/multi-vendor Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract."
Ivy.ai’s new chatbot streamlines resources and policies
Ivy.ai, a creator of AI chatbots for higher education, is offering a chatbot that helps institutions streamline name, image, and likeness policies for athletic programmes.
This solution will allow athletic departments to dramatically reduce inbound inquiries while answering inquiries related to compliance, financial aid impact, how-to documents, and best practice training videos.
It will allow institutions to condense information in a way that is easily accessible and eliminates the need for student-athletes to read complicated manuals. Institutions can also engage with student-athletes via a real-time feedback loop to see which topics truly matter and what needs further clarification. This allows administrators to be proactive and provide a competitive edge in recruiting.
Helping institutions connect their students with information
“Athletic departments at colleges and universities are overwhelmed by the challenges posed by the name, image and likeness legislation,” said Mary Frances Coryell, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Partnership.
“Ivy.ai is uniquely positioned in the market to help institutions connect their student-athletes with policies and information related to NIL such as state laws, restrictions and relevant contacts. Our chatbot can digest all relevant policy information and provide answers to student-athletes at any time on any device. We expect the NIL market to move quickly, so student-athletes deserve the answers on their terms, rather than exclusively during work hours.”
Primary use cases for the chatbot include:
- Answering commonly asked questions related to name, image and likeness
- Communicate policies such as state laws, restrictions and compliance regulations
- Provide contact information for various advisors and agencies
- Connect training materials for athletes to improve their branding
- Engage in two-way reactive and proactive communication to keep policies student-centric
Back in March 2020, the company offered schools a free COVID-19 Response System, including a customisable COVID-19 Response Bot, a human-to-human live chat system and an SMS Text platform. These services are offered completely free of charge.
"The customisable COVID-19 Response Bot will help schools connect their students with important information, such as the school's operational status, where to go for treatment, and what to do to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We already added that information to all of our clients' AI chatbots, and we found that in many cases students needed additional support. That's why we're including our human-to-human Live Chat system in this offer. The SMS Text platform can be used to drive awareness to this communications channel for your students." said Mark McNasby, CEO of Ivy.ai.