Apple Inc. has acquired an artificial intelligence start-up Lattice Data Inc. in an effort to step up its commitment to improving capabilities in the field of machine learning. The original report published by Tech Crunch revealed that the iPhone maker paid around $200 million to buy the Menlo Park, California-based company.
Founded in 2015, Lattice specializes in harnessing AI-enabled inference engine to take unstructured, or “dark” data, and turn it into structured and more usable information. It was developed as a commercialization of DeepDive, a framework for statistical inference created at Stanford University, to unlock the value from unstructured data “for critical real-world problems.” To get a sense of the importance of dark data, between 70% and 80% of the data in existence today is unstructured, according to IBM estimates, and thus it is largely unusable when it comes to processing and analytics.
The applications of Lattice’s system include international policing and crime solving, but rumors have it that Apple intends to use the technology to enhance its AI assistant Siri.
The deal was closed a couple of weeks ago and about 20 engineers have joined the larger company, the report stated.