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Rapid-fire pitch: Mistro

As Vinnie Annunziata sees it, it’s time for another ten-year revolution in accessing data.

Annunziata, the CEO of Mistro (pronounced maestro, like the man in front of the orchestra), said the 10-year cycle that started in the 80’s was the PC. Then it was the internet. Then add another ten years and it’s the Iphone.

The latest revolution, Annunziata told Demo Day at MarketWaves18, is something “that everyone in this room has been using since you were born. And that tool is your voice.”

In his demo, Annunziata demonstrated the voice recognition tool and what it could do either through a desktop application or on a phone. He described using voice commands as “the most frictionless way possible.”

Annunziata’s presentation presented a desktop screen for a theoretical trucking company’s screen. On it was a series of links: Safety and compliance; efficiency; fleet management; accounting; hedging; and risk management. The Mistro platform “allows you to permission users for what data they are permitted to see as well as what data they would like to see.”

But having a screen with links to a company’s data is not new. It’s when the user taps on the microphone icon that the more revolutionary capabilities of the tool can be demonstrated. Annunziata asked Mistro to “show me a list of my current drivers who are approaching hours of service violations,” and a list of the theoretical company’s drivers appeared. “Show me me my hours of service violations sorted by lane and driver” was another demonstration of the capabilities of Mistro.

It was in demonstrating a use of Mistro to place a futures order that another capability of the program was revealed. Annunziata spoke to Mistro and asked it, “Can you buy me 50 freight futures for December at $2.75 on the Nodal Exchange,” a reference to Nodal’s upcoming freight futures launch in late February.

When he did that, up popped a form entry with the relevant data filled out or at least with an entry area created. But it wasn’t pulled from a programmed form; Annunziata said that natural language processing broke down the request into the individual “tokens” needed to fulfill the order.

“It could be any data, not just trade data,” Anunziata said. “You could use these dynamically generated forms to capture data from your users’ voices and put it directly to your system.” The natural language processing–not code–created the form.

Training employees could be made easier, according to Annunziata. Instead of training employees to hunt through databases, “you could train them instantly with a sheet of paper commands,” he said.

And in a good hook to end his presentation, Annunziata said Mistro can “give freight data a voice of its own.”

John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.