Rasori’s Relentless Releases Episode 5:

Alexa Voice Integration

Published 10/22/2020

In MCT’s fifth episode of Rasori’s Relentless Releases, Phil Rasori announces the first stage of Alexa voice integration for the MCTlive! platform. This new integration will include command chains that allow for full remote secondary execution, including loan sale commitments and TBA positions. 

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WebinarRecording

MCT® is continually optimizing our capital markets software to keep up with the current market space. In an effort to inform you of these real time enhancements this video will review the latest MCTlive! innovations and functionality updates for your benefit. View the episode then join our newsletter to be updated on new releases.

About the Video:

In Episode 5 of Rasori’s Relentless Releases, Phil Rasori discusses MCTlive’s new Alexa voice integration and how it can be used to manage your pipeline on-the-go. 

Topics Include:

  • A review of new voice commands available within this release
  • Short demo of how the new voice commands work within MCTlive!
  • How MCT is adding security around this new functionality
  • A schedule of future releases for Alexa voice integration 

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Rasori’s Relentless Releases focuses on technology updates to MCTlive!, MCT’s award-winning loan pipeline management software. 

Features include:

  • 100% Cloud-Hosted, Web-Based, Real-Time Functionality
  • Multidimensional Pull-Through Analytics
  • Bid Auction Manager (BAM) Loan Trading Platform
  • Electronic TBA Trading
  • Rapid Commit for Agency Delivery

Learn About MCTlive! 

Video Transcript

Hello, and welcome to this week’s MCTlive! Release Notes summary.  We’re really excited about this one. Today we are releasing the first stage of our Alexa voice integration. To be clear, this is not a simple Alexa skill that just regurgitates basic pipeline statistics. This voice integration will include command chains that allow for full remote secondary execution, including loan sale commitments and TBA positions. This is the first of many releases that we will be rolling out as part of a much larger initiative of full voice control integration within the MCTlive! platform. 

Before I explain the functionality any further, I want to make sure everyone understands that throughout the development process, preservation of security was paramount. For the past year, we have been working to ensure that an MCTlive! user can securely use their Alexa enabled device with their MCTlive! account. This is accomplished by requiring the Alexa device to be account linked to an MCTlive! account that has multi-factor authentication enabled and then further requiring verbal security PINs for all execution related command chains. We will be sending detailed instructions on account linking following this release announcement. 

So, moving back over to the Alexa skill functionality, between now and the end of the year we will be executing a phased rollout of skill commands. These commands and command chains will be grouped and released in three stages:

  1. Real time market and pipeline activity
  2. Education and Reporting
  3. Full Remote Secondary Execution

And while we have command chains in production for all three of these stages, today’s release will be focused on the first stage of real time market and pipeline activity.

There are over 30 commands and command chains that correspond to today’s release and so in the interest of time I’ll demo three of the most useful commands.

  1. What is my coverage?
  2. How many new locks do I have?
    1. How much production has been locked today?
    2. Please provide today’s new lock summary
  3. What is the market doing right now?

As you can see, we’ve connected the system directly to the database so it always going to be dead-on in regards to coverage. It’s going to be exactly what you’re seeing in MCTlive!.

As you can also see, there’s a little choppiness with Alexa’s cadence and you’ll notice that depending on the length of the number values that she is reciting.

In regards to the Sub bullet points that I had in the slide under the second command of “How many locks do I have,” Alexa lets you store what Amazon refers to as multiple utterances per command. The reason this is needed is that although there’s been a lot of work in the field natural language processing at Amazon, and frankly at Google and Apple as well, these devices really can’t yet understand natural and unexpected language. This is especially when your speaking in the very specialized language of capital markets.

Basically, what we have to do is as we add literally hundreds of commands into this skill in order to come up with a style of communication. And the style of communication that we have right now is that a lot of these commands and command chains start with “what is” so as we’re asking a question when we are trying to get a status of a certain metric in the site. Then, when we are asking for an action, we’ll say “provide” and as part of the education releases, you’ll hear a lot of explains, so you’ll hear her explain theta and optimal coverage.

Those will be the styles and we’ll talk about that a lot later. I’ll now give you an example though of how a couple different utterances in these bullet points on this slide can yield the same result in the same command.

Alexa, open MCTlive!….Stop

So, as you can see multiple utterances for a given command will definitely make it easier for you as you’re interacting verbally with the platform. The style will definitely be important, as there are just so many ways to ask some of these questions. But like I said, we do have multiple utterances for a lot of commands and we’ll obviously be talking about that in subsequent releases.

The last thing I wanted to demo for you before we close this release summary is basically where we can take this. Like I said earlier, security is obviously going to be paramount here, but with regards to the third stage of full remote secondary execution, I’ll just give you an example of a command that is actually already in existence. You wouldn’t have the ability to turn this command on unless you had multi-factor authentication on your account and also security PIN that we would have to turn on for you.

Alexa, open MCTlive!…Alexa Stop

 

So, the last part that I just stopped is actually a warning saying the skill will time out waiting for dealer levels on TAM and you’ll have to use another command to get the levels.

Like I said, this is down the road and to be clear, there is no need to ever use this if you don’t want to. Once we’re all travelling again, we strongly feel that this will be a game changer in how you are able to interact with the entire MCTlive! Platform.

We’re very excited about it, I really appreciated the time and we will be back soon with the next Alexa command release. Thank you.

“This voice integration will include command chains that allow for full remote secondary execution, including loan sale commitments and TBA positions.”

Phil Rasori, COO, MCT

About the Host:

Phil Rasori, Chief Operating Officer, MCT

Mr. Rasori is a recognized thought-leader in capital markets operations within the mortgage banking community. His areas of expertise include complex financial modeling, computational dynamics, and linear programming for operational optimization. He developed the ground-breaking mortgage pipeline hedging algorithms that form the foundation of MCT’s HALO Program today. He has also pioneered several metrics that have become standard industry parlance, including “beta pull-through” factors. In addition to banking clients, Mr. Rasori has consulted with GSE agencies and the US Government on hedging best practices for community banks. Mr. Rasori has functionally led MCT operations since 2005 and ascended to his current role as COO in 2007.

Mr. Rasori is a graduate of University of California, San Diego, and holds a B.S. in Management Science.