With Deepfake Avatars And Tokens, AI Transforms Weed, Fintech And Real Estate Markets, CEO Explains How

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Darius Bruner, CEO of 8blockchainfund, manages a turnkey special purpose vehicle (SPV) fund that uses AI technology to streamline business capital formation.

In a detailed discussion, Bruner describes his journey from managing a $500 million cannabis fund to developing innovative web-based avatars for budtenders and his ongoing expansion of AI applications in both the cannabis industry and fintech-driven real estate ventures.

Entrepreneurial Beginnings And Venture Into Tech

After moving from San Francisco to Silicon Valley in the late 1980s—a key period for technological innovation—Bruner quickly realized the power of capital over pure innovation.

"I learned that it wasn't about being an entrepreneur or an innovator, it was about controlling the capital, having access to the money," Bruner told Benzinga Cannabis in an exclusive interview.

He established several social equity cannabis-focused funds, including a notable SEC-compliant fund managing $500 million, and later his own minority-owned SPV fund.


Launching Funds With AI

Bruner’s company utilizes what are known as "white label 506c’s and 506b’s" frameworks. These frameworks are pre-structured fund models that are compliant with SEC regulations, allowing for quicker setup times.

The term "white label" refers to fund structures that are ready-made and can be customized or branded by the fund managers using them without needing to develop everything from scratch.

Additionally, Bruner mentioned that these frameworks have made it significantly easier and less expensive to launch a fund compared to the past.

The efficiency is also supported by the regulatory environment in the United States, where a 506c fund can raise capital from non-accredited investors and a 506b from accredited investors. This flexibility allows Bruner's company to quickly adapt to different investor bases.

He highlighted the efficiency of his operations by noting, "We have our turnkey solution where we can launch funds in a matter of four hours," showcasing how technological advancements have streamlined fund management.

AI-Powered Deepfake Budtenders

Bruner's company leverages AI and web-based avatars to enhance consumer interactions and sales in the cannabis market. "Deepfake technology" refers to AI systems that create realistic video and audio recordings where a person appears to say or do something they did not say or do.

These avatars, powered by sophisticated AI algorithms, are designed to deliver personalized customer service around the clock and are visually represented using deepfake technology from Unreal Engine, making them appear strikingly lifelike and human.

By operating continuously, they gather and analyze data from consumer interactions, enabling retailers to refine marketing strategies and enhance customer engagement. These insights are critical for understanding customer preferences and behavior.

The technology allows for the projection of these avatars on any glass surface, transforming them into interactive agents that can communicate with customers, suggest products, and even handle transactions outside of regular business hours.

Bruner elaborated on the projection technology, explaining, "In the beginning, it was a projection, but now the data is actually on paper-thin film that's placed on the glass."

This innovative approach not only enhances the consumer experience but also turns passive store facades into active selling tools, capitalizing on every potential customer interaction to gather valuable data and drive sales.

Learning 24/7

Additionally, the application of AI in these avatars goes beyond mere customer interaction, they are designed to evolve based on accumulated data.

As Bruner said, "We have a database already in place that's available now." This continuous learning and adaptation process allows avatars to improve their interaction quality and effectiveness over time, making them an invaluable asset for businesses looking to stay ahead in dynamic markets.

If you want to learn more as AI does, on investment opportunities, technology, and markets, don't miss the opportunity to join us at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago this October 8-9. Engage with top executives, investors, policymakers, and advocates to explore the industry's future. Secure your tickets now before prices increase by following this link.

Expanding Into Real Estate And Fintech

Bruner highlighted the diverse applications of AI-driven avatars, which extend beyond customer service in retail environments like the cannabis industry, to sectors including healthcare, military, fintech and real estate.

In real estate, for instance, his firm utilizes AI technology to support the tokenization of real estate assets. This method involves converting property rights into digital tokens on a blockchain, effectively enabling properties to be traded similarly to stocks on financial markets.

Reflecting on the integration of technology in real estate, Bruner mentioned, "We've been preaching tokenization of real estate assets for some time... We just decided to launch a fund-to-fund structure."

This structure allows investors to diversify their exposure by investing in a variety of real estate projects and markets through a single investment vehicle, transitioning from direct tokenization projects to managing a portfolio of such projects.

This approach in real estate financing not only simplifies transactions but also expands access to investment opportunities, enabling investors to acquire shares in properties without the substantial capital traditionally required for real estate investments.

Bruner emphasized that the tokenization process, enhanced by AI, guarantees that transactions are secure, transparent, and adhere to regulatory standards, thus transforming how real estate is financed and traded.

Photo: AI-Generated Image. 

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Posted In: CannabisFintechNewsEntrepreneurshipManagementSuccess StoriesExclusivesMarketsTechInterviewGeneralReal Estate8blockchainfunda.i.artificial intelligenceAsset Tokenizationblockchain tokenizationCannabis real estateDarius BrunerDeepfakesfintech companiesTokenizationUnreal Engine
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