CFTC Selects Nexidia for Audio Review

Nexidia and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are teaming up to protect the public from fraud and fight illegal trading practices.

Nexidia and the CFTC entered into an agreement to deploy Nexidia’s Enterprise Speech Intelligence (ESI) software to review audio content produced in investigations of trading activities.

In explaining the impetus for the partnership, Jeff Schlueter, vice president of legal markets, marketing, and business development at Nexidia, notes that the company was already working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to analyze audio for its investigations.

“Through various channels, we had started talking to the CFTC,” Schlueter says. “They did some evaluations and ultimately decided that Nexidia was going to be very helpful for them in managing their internal investigations.”

The CFTC is charged with protecting market users and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive trading practices related to the sale of commodity and financial futures and options in an effort to foster open, competitive, and financially sound futures and option markets.

To that end, the agency routinely requests, receives, and reviews large volumes of audio recordings—sometimes hundreds or thousands of hours of content—as part of a single investigation. 

“Really, without Nexidia, their only option is to essentially listen to all those recordings,” says Schlueter. “They basically get a room full of analysts together and they listen to them.” 

Because this process is so labor-intensive, time consuming, and potentially inaccurate, the CFTC turned to Nexidia’s ESI to make its investigations more efficient.

“We can index all those recordings and we put them up into our speech intelligence software,” says Schlueter. “Instead of having to listen to everything now they can actually use search tools.”

Schlueter says that with ESI, the CFTC can cull through audio records, select files important to an investigation, and “very quickly narrow down the set of recordings that are responsive to their goals—in a matter of hours as opposed to months or even longer with very large investigations.”

The underlying speech technology in ESI is Nexidia’s patented phonetic indexing and search technologies. The CFTC solution is an enterprise grade, multi-user system capable of handling thousands of hours of audio on a daily basis.

According to Schlueter, Nexidia—which also works with government agencies in the U.K.—is in discussions with additional federal agencies in the U.S. about the deployment of ESI.

“It is the only way to cost-effectively sift through and do [audio] discovery,” he says. “Nexidia has really gained a strong foothold in the market for doing [audio] discovery for legal purposes and compliance purposes.”

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