How much will the U.S. Department of Defense spend on AI research contracts between July 1 and December 31, 2021, inclusive?
Related question. This question was previously issued for the period July 1 to December 31, 2020. You can view it here. The crowd's mean forecast was $441 million, and the correct answer was $302.8 million. This question is the crowd's biggest miss to date. DoD AI contracts over this period were notably lower than they were during the first half of 2020 ($490.5 million).
Context. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) funds research through both grants and contracts. In the annual budget justification, DoD distinguishes research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) with procurement, i.e., acquiring systems. The budget justification includes both grants and contracts under RDT&E. Data on actual DoD expenditures, collected primarily in the Federal Procurement Data System, carves the space differently, separating grants and contracts and not separating RDT&E and procurement.
Data and resolution details. This question resolves based on Bloomberg Government (BGOV) data. Using data from several sources, including the Federal Procurement Data System, Sam.gov, and Freedom of Information Act requests, BGOV classifies contract transactions into one or more market area. For this question, a contract is an "AI contract" if BGOV classified it in the "Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning" market. It's a "research" contract if it has a "Research and Development" Product Service Code. The years are calendar years, not fiscal years.
The data underlying the graph is here.
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|Less than $200 million||5%|
|Between $200 million and $350 million, inclusive||22%|
|More than $350 million but less than or equal to $500 million||34%|
|More than $500 million but less than or equal to $650 million||23%|
|More than $650 million||16%|