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ChatGPT & Writing Federal Contract Proposals

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

I've been thinking a lot about what it's like being a CO in this new era of AI being used for proposal writing. I've been wondering, as a former CO myself for many many years--

❓ What will proposals written with AI look like (or already look like) in terms of technical narratives for specific types of services?

❓ Will evaluation board reviews still be able to easily cull out those proposals that lack nuance or substance, specific to the nature of the work or specific sites / customer locations? Or, will AI add details about work and project sites to a proposal in experience or other areas that a business doesn't actually know or have in an attempt to provide a complete response?

❓ Will proposal responses all start to sound alike for certain repetitive evaluation criteria we see across Government RFPs?

❓ What happens if AI writes a proposal that over-promises on what a business can actually deliver?

❓ What could that mean in terms of mission readiness (or failure)?

❓ Are we sure we are still getting the best contractor for the job when the proposal was not written with the knowledge of the contractor that will perform the work?

❓️ How does the Government know where the offeror's knowledge ends and AI-generated info begins?

💡 I decided I'd go to the proverbial "horse's mouth" and ask ChatGPT to write a blog post of the pros and cons for using itself to write a Federal Government contract proposal. The attached result may be surprising to some.

ChatGPT as a Proposal Writing Tool v5-28-2023
Download PDF • 146KB

⚠ My advice...PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE CONS that ChatGPT identified in itself.

Contracting Officers and technical evaluation board members evaluate proposals on depth / breadth of experience, specific knowledge, and context; nuances this tool says it cannot provide. It's fine to use AI for the routine and mundane fluff, but the guts of your proposal--the info that will make or break your success--still must come from you. It's a tool, not the complete solution.

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