Started Aug 03, 2020 02:00PM UTC   •   Closed Dec 07, 2020 09:59PM UTC

How much will the U.S. Department of Defense spend on AI research contracts between July 1 and December 31, 2020, inclusive?


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,, 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.

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Resolution Notes
The answer is $302.8 million -- just barely in the $300-$400 million bracket.
Possible Answer Correct? Final Crowd Forecast
Less than $200 million 3%
Between $200 million and $300 million, inclusive 7%
More than $300 million but less than or equal to $400 million 22%
More than $400 million but less than or equal to $500 million 35%
More than $500 million 33%

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