AI and the power of your gut

By Marty Cayton, posted 3 weeks ago
Marty Cayton, publisher of Greater Fayetteville Business Journal, was the keynote speaker for day one of the 2021 TechNet event.

This past Thursday, I had the honor of speaking at Armed Forces Communications andElectronics Association’s annual TechNet event. For those who are not familiar with the organization, AFCEA collaborates with military, government and industry groups using technology and strategy to help the mission of those who serve.

Founded in 1946, they are a member- based, nonprofit international organization helping members advance information technology, communications and electronic capabilities. They have over 30,000 individual members, 140 chapters and nearly 1,600 corporate members. It was an honor being around so many people who have served or who currently serve in our Armed Forces.

As I prepared for my talk, I was reminded again of the ingenuity and perseverance of entrepreneurs and

businesspeople who have shaped our world. This year’s TechNet focused on emerging technologies and the acronym AI — or Artificial Intelligence — was a dominant focus.

As you may know, AI represents everything from Alexa, Siri and Tesla to the latest advances in robotics, where scientists are working to create systems that can think, reason and even have self-awareness — making them more human-like. The plan is for AI to be able to analyze terabytes-plus of data to help in decision-making for everything from market data (who is buying what and why) to military strategies.


Technology advances such as AI will play an important role in our world over the next 1-2 years. Some good things will come from these advances, and inevitably, there will be problems and even ethical issues that will arise, as well. That’s where we come in!

In my TechNet keynote, I referenced one of General Colin Powell’s leadership lessons. It’s called the 40-70 rule. Powell’s rule comes in two


Part 1: "Use the formula P=40 to 70, in which P stands for the prob-ability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired.”

Part II: "Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut."

Powell explains further: “Don't take action if you have only enough information to give you less than a 40 percent chance of being right,

but don't wait until you have enough facts to be 100 percent sure, because by then it is almost always too late. 
Today, excessive delays in the name of information-gathering breed ‘analysis paralysis.’ Procrastination in the name of reducing risk actually increases risk.”

Even with the advances of AI and its ability to crunch information faster, competitors and enemy nations will also have access to AI.

The winner will always be the best decision maker. Going with your gut, which includes your experiences, beliefs, morals and ethics, cannot be displaced by any technology.

So, here’s to those who serve, and here’s to those that develop technologies that transform. And, here’s to humanity and our gut decisions

which make all the difference in the world!

God bless you and yours!

  • - Marty V. Cayton
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