Not Your Daddy's Voice-Recording Software; How GreenKey Uses AI To Go The Next Level

In the second it took me to type the first three words of this sentence, GreenKey’s artificial intelligence software could have transcribed my entire dictated thought.

And we’re not just talking the basic conversational language of a Midwestern English speaker here. GreenKey was specifically designed to detect and accurately record the nuanced jargon of fast-talking traders with accented English.

Benzinga chatted with GreenKey CEO Nader Shwayhat to discuss the technology and its application for Wall Street and beyond. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Benzinga: Give me the GreenKey elevator pitch.

Shwayhat: You can think about us essentially as Amazon Alexa for Wall Street. That’s one high level way to think about it. What we really try to do is focus on the translation of voice conversations into usable data so you can activate any kind of system or extract data out of any conversation. We do this through robots, artificial intelligence, machine-learning algorithms, which we deploy in the cloud or we can deploy behind somebody’s firewall.

What we’re looking to do is to work with very highly specific, dense, and non-dictionary language by very voice-heavy users in intense environments. There is a big difference between you and I putting into a Google search “How do I get from this location to that location?” versus two European government bond traders structuring deals in an OTC market and actually effecting executions to meet certain regulatory obligations. So certain wording structures, like “OBL 174.95.50 offered small,” in really a second and a half, I just communicated a million-dollar deal with probably 30 different fields of nuanced data.

Benzinga: How exactly does the product work?

Shwayhat: We have our own “phone,” our own turret, our own trading floor telephony infrastructure that can be deployed as software on the desktop, on a tablet, or on a mobile phone.

Using our software, we have very high-quality audio that is already catalogued. In other words, you’re the speaker. I’m the speaker. It recognizes that there are two of us talking. If a third person came in, it would recognize the third person, and it separates out those streams, so that way we are not all talking on top of each other.

But what is important is that within the context of a conversation, we get hyper-accurate on what matters. It is the code structures, the price structures, those activated instructions, picking up on those instructions and then doing something with it, and that’s really where we get creative.

We take all that information off of the data and then integrate it directly into trading systems, so you can speak a trade directly into a platform or I can listen into this call and then extract data out of it.

Benzinga: What are the implications of this technology?

Shwayhat: Humans can speak about 140 or 150 words per minute but can only type around 30 or 40. So you get a tremendous amount of speed, and if you can achieve close to 95 percent to 100 percent accuracy, there is a tremendous amount of value in being able to pre-populate this information.

Benzinga: It seems like most of your customer base is institutional traders, correct?

Shwayhat: Our initial target market is B2B enterprises across capital markets, so working with large investment firms, individual brokers, regional banks, regional brokers, asset managers, hedge funds. We’ve never quite gotten into the direct-to-consumer, retail-level investor.

Benzinga: Do you think there’s an opportunity to reach retail investors?

Shwayhat: Theoretically we could work that market, but the way we would probably do it is through distribution partners and channels. For example, working with TD Ameritrade and just voice activate their system or working with E-Trade and embedding GreenKey in their platform. You can actually just put a GreenKey button on any piece of software on a desktop. We activate the microphone and can fully activate that piece of software.

Benzinga: Do you see an opportunity for GreenKey to transform industries beyond finance?

Shwayhat: GreenKey started in the capital markets because that’s our legacy. I spent 15 years, myself, focused on nothing but the intersection of voice and trading and OTC derivatives, where a lot of this sort of activity happens.

But from a technology perspective, there is actually nothing that distinguishes, for example, Goldman Sachs’ European Government Bonds Trading Desk from the state of New Jersey’s state police troopers and the codes that they are shouting over their body cameras or their walkie talkies. They are speaking in code. Everybody inside their dispatch centers, their station, they are all understanding it. But by being able to shout voice instruction for a police officer or an air traffic controller or a medical assistant, it becomes extraordinarily powerful, because something as complex as cardiothoracic surgery, for example, that is a very nuanced piece of dialogue.

These are all very specific codes that have some action, and our technology actually works with these different tribes, so to speak, just as effectively.

Five years from now we would love able to embed and voice activate all their systems based on all of their specific dialogue and lexicons, not to mention doing this in 30 different languages.

This article is exclusive to Nasdaq.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.