Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors, including government contracting. For Contracting Officers (COs) and Contracting Officer's Representatives (CORs), the potential to streamline the Source Selection process is particularly compelling. However, while AI can significantly boost efficiency, maintaining human oversight is crucial.

Pros of Utilizing AI in the Source Selection Process

One of the major advantages of AI is its ability to process vast amounts of data quickly, which would allow COs and CORs to evaluate proposals more efficiently. This capability would significantly reduce the time spent on preliminary assessments, helping to manage the workload backlog many programs face. AI also brings consistency and objectivity to the table. By standardizing the evaluation process, it removes human biases from initial assessments, providing a fairer evaluation of proposals. This aspect is particularly important in ensuring that all submissions are judged on their merits, by “requiring that models have equal predictive value across groups or requiring that models have equal false positive and false negative rates across groups,” as highlighted recently by the Harvard Business Review.

By automating routine tasks, AI allows professionals to focus on higher-value work, fostering a more innovative and satisfying work environment. This shift is crucial as companies navigate the evolving landscape of AI integration. As noted in a recent Deloitte report, "Focus on augmenting people, not replacing them. Despite concerns, AI is not all about reducing labor costs, and organizations that approach the technology in this manner stand to miss out on real gains."

Reflecting on the repetitive nature of tasks his workforce faces, Major General Anthony W. Genatempo recalled the words of Alexis Bonnell, CIO and Director of the Digital Capabilities Directorate at the Air Force Research Library (AFRL), who stated, "the workforce is suffering under toil of their jobs." By assigning AI repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as reviewing RFPs for minimum requirements, there is more time to focus on more complex and strategic decisions. This shift not only enhances efficiency but also allows individuals to engage in more creative and innovative work. When AI handles mundane activities, people can dedicate their energy to problem-solving, strategic planning, and exploring new ideas, ultimately driving progress and fostering a more dynamic and fulfilling work environment.

Cons of Utilizing AI in the Source Selection Process

The use of AI in the decision-making processes has raised ethical and moral concerns for some. While AI can be a powerful tool, it must be applied with the same ethical standards as any other decision-making process.

Moreover, AI cannot fully replace human judgment. Major decisions, especially those involving strategic implications, still require human intervention. In a recent report, The Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership emphasized that all stakeholders in AI advancement, including corporate boards, management, researchers, and engineers, bear the responsibility of ensuring ethical principles are applied throughout the AI product lifecycle. Despite concerns about the ethical risks of automation, there is a strong belief that human workers and AI will work together to enhance the nature of work for the better.

There's also the issue of potential job displacement. While AI can handle certain tasks, it poses a threat to job security for those who refuse to adapt. Genatempo addressed this concern during the Alamo AFCEA Monthly June Luncheon stating, "I have enough of a workload backlog that I promise you, generative AI and large-language models are not going to replace any individual in my workforce." However, he also warned, "my workforce, who does not know how to use large-language models and generative AI, will be replaced by people who do,” emphasizing the importance of upskilling and learning to leverage AI tools effectively to remain relevant in the evolving job market.

Security concerns also come into play. AI systems, if not properly secured, can be vulnerable to cyber threats. The development of AI tools like NIPRgpt by AFRL aims to address these concerns by ensuring that data drawn from outside is non-exportable, mitigating the risk of sensitive information leaks.

Balancing AI and Human Judgment

The integration of AI in the Source Selection process must be approached with caution and balance. During the same Alamo AFCEA Luncheon, Genatempo remarked, "I'm willing to bet that there are some of you out here right now already using AI right now to submit proposals to me," underscoring the reality that AI is already a part of the contracting landscape.

While AI can significantly speed up the process, human decisions are crucial for ensuring ethical and strategic considerations are met. Genatempo’s insights provide a valuable perspective on this balance, emphasizing the goal of freeing up time for more meaningful work.


AI has the potential to revolutionize the Source Selection process, offering numerous benefits such as increased efficiency, consistency, and enhanced decision-making. However, it also presents challenges that require careful consideration, including the need for human oversight, potential job displacement for those who don’t stay up to date, and security issues.

AI should be viewed as a tool to augment human capabilities, not replace them. As we navigate this evolving landscape, it's clear that a balanced approach, integrating both AI and human judgment, will lead to the best outcomes.


  1. "What Do We Do About Biases in AI." Harvard Business Review, Oct. 2019,
  2. "How AI Can Drive Business Growth by Accelerating Process Automation." Forbes, 19 Dec. 2023,
  3. "Talent and Workforce Effects in the Age of AI." Deloitte Insights,
  4. Genatempo, Anthony W. "Remarks at Alamo AFCEA Chapter Event." Alamo AFCEA,