Artificial Intelligence, furniture and the truth

Artificial Intelligence was a frequent point of conversation at the market this spring. We heard from three different CEOs.

CEO 1 talked about how his team uses AI for developing Word document templates for communicating with customers and vendors.

CEO 2’s company uses AI for tracking inventory and strategically placing it among the various U.S. warehouses.

CEO 3’s company uses it for gathering data to inform management on customer trends and habits.

Outside the industry, AI is everywhere. Congress is discussing the merits and possible hazards of AI and 60 Minutes presented an episode about the concerns of AI and its effects on humanity. Even our preacher’s sermon last Sunday was titled “AI and the Truth?”

So, we at Stump & Co. decided to try it. We downloaded ChatGBT and began our own journey with AI. When we queried about Stump & Co., the app quickly presented a nice overview of the company, but it was filled with errors and mistakes; however, it did have many correct facts. Then we asked the question “Why is furniture demand declining in the post Covid era? Below is what it said:

There are several reasons why furniture consumption is declining after Covid:

1. Economic uncertainty: Many people have lost their jobs or experienced a significant reduction in income during the pandemic. As a result, they are less likely to spend money on nonessential items like furniture.

2. Home office: With the increase in the number of people working from home, the demand for office furniture has increased, but the overall demand for furniture has decreased.

3. Social distancing: People are spending more time at home and are less likely to have visitors. As a result, they may feel less pressure to update their furniture or invest in new pieces.

4. Reduced purchasing power: The pandemic has impacted the global supply chain, causing disruptions and price increases in many industries, including the furniture industry. This has made furniture less accessible and affordable to many consumers.

Overall, the declining furniture consumption after Covid can be attributed to the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

This is a pretty good rendition of what our industry is going through today, and it was delivered to us in 5 seconds.

Artificial Intelligence is here to stay, and there are many benefits here now, with many more to be developed in the future. However, there are also many falsehoods and misinformation. Our task is to use the tool, search for the truth and avoid the many pitfalls that this new technology will certainly bring. Use it as a tool and correct the mistakes.

Bo Stump is a partner in Charlotte, North Carolina-based M&A advisory firm Stump & Co.

One thought on “Artificial Intelligence, furniture and the truth

  1. This morning we used AI to answer the question, “What are the hazards of reclining furniture?” We learned that “One of the biggest dangers of reclining furniture is the risk of tipping over… if it is not anchored to the wall, it can easily tip over, especially if a child or pet is playing near it.” Further, consumers are advised to anchor their recliner “away from walkways and areas where children or older adults may be playing.” We had a good laugh over that advice, but it points to the future challenges our industry faces communicating accurate (and relevant) product safety information to consumers.

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