The National AI Institute (NAII) is starting up a new AI Tech Sprint within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which aims to empower an AI-enabled ecosystem through voluntary incentives linking Federal, industry, academia, and nonprofit organization ecosystems around AI R&D.

Speaking during Defense One’s Genius Machines 2020 Virtual Summit, Dr. Gil Alterovitz, Director of AI at VA, said that NAII would be starting the new Tech Sprint “soon,” and described the sprints as “time- limited engagements to foster collaboration around designing these AI-enabled tools that leverage Federal data or be working with our different researchers and others to build new tools.”

“We’re testing this as a way to do sole-source contracts and to help justify certain tools that may be developed around cutting-edge AI through the sprint,” Dr. Alterovitz said. “And we know other organizations within high levels of government that are also looking to leverage AI tech sprint results.”

Elsewhere, Dr. Alterovitz offered that NAII is leveraging AI for COVID-19 prognoses, and is developing and applying AI models for prognosis of COVID-positive patients using clinical and non-clinical information.

“Someone has a positive test, what’s the prognosis? Will the patient need hospitalization, your risk for death, etc. What will their needs be?” Dr. Alterovitz posited. “The approach was to develop and apply AI models for that using both clinical and non-clinical information.” In collaboration with VA, models were developed to access and use all VA data, and the resulting technology is already being used operationally, Dr. Alterovitz said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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