Rep. Hurd Details Tech Priorities in Congress for 2019

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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said artificial intelligence, helping federal agencies address critical technology issues and a new cybersecurity scholarship program would be among his priorities in Congress this year to help modernize and secure the government, Federal News Network reported Friday.

He aims to promote the FITARA scorecard across the government to ensure all 24 large agencies and departments “are following efforts to have good digital hygiene.” Hurd highlighted the challenges facing the Department of Veterans Affairs in updating its technologies. He said VA needs system standardization and configuration to manage more than 100 different versions of its legacy systems. 
“Nobody knows all of the different kinds of versions,” Hurd said. “What makes data transformation projects so difficult is you’re potentially dealing with tens of thousands of different versions of the software and nobody knows the changes from one application to another.”

Another priority of the lawmaker is to create a national plan on the use of AI-based technologies. Hurd said the document would help link the research efforts of the public and the private sectors as well as the training for future AI researchers and workforce. He also plans to launch the Cyber National Guard initiative that would fund students to study cybersecurity and to enter the federal government. 

Hurd said he hopes to see more bipartisan support in 2019 for major issues like cybersecurity and transportation.

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