license agreement (Jirsak/Shutterstock.com)

GSA launches EULA challenge

The General Services administration is looking for civic-minded developers to help it find an artificial intelligence or machine learning solution to end-user agreements (EULA), looking for terms and conditions in software licenses that are unacceptable to the government. 

GSA’s AI/ML EULA Challenge 2020 aims to reduce the time spent manually reviewing EULAs and improve the accuracy and consistency of the review process.

As part an acquisition of software or services, contracting officers review the associated EULAs, which detail the rights and restrictions that apply to the use of software or services, to see if there are any terms and conditions that might conflict with federal regulations. In some cases, the CO may call on the Office of General Counsel for a legal review. Should a EULA contain language that conflicts with federal law, the CO must negotiate changes to the EULA to remove the problematic language.

Currently, on average, it takes all parties involved approximately 7-14 days to review a EULA manually, GSA said, which is why it wants an automated way to process the documents and more quickly and accurately identify unacceptable terms.

GSA anticipates awarding a $20,000 in total cash prizes, with the first place team winning $15,000. Solutions will be judged on technical merits, functionality and user interface, quality of the demonstration and creativity. Extra points may be awarded for models that deliver exceptional functionality or solve more-difficult problems, such as retraining the model based on user review of solution output or explaining the reason that individual clauses were classified as unacceptable.

No stranger to applying emerging technology to agency challenges, GSA has incorporated more than 25 robotic process automation bots into other acquisition processes. Its Solicitation Review Tool tracks, finds and changes Section 508 disability clauses in contracts to ensure all website content is accessible to people with disabilities.

The Truman bot automates the work associated with processing offers under the Federal Acquisition Service’s Multiple Award Schedules. Truman helps vendors pull data from multiple sources into a central report, which has increased customer and employee satisfaction while minimizing errors and backlogs.

GSA’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer, meanwhile, uses an accounts payable email notification bot to pull 300 invoices per day that are due for payment and notifies those responsible. The bot has also eliminated the need for manual data entry of hundreds of receiving reports every month and captured data for almost 40,000 purchase cards annually.

The AI/ML EULA Challenge 2020 opens July 6 and closes Aug. 20. Only members of the general public may apply. Federal employees acting within the scope of their employment are not eligible to compete.

More information can be found here.

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