Apple Acquires Lattice Data, A ‘Dark Data’ Machine Learning Company For $200 Million


Apple has recently acquired Lattice Data for around $200 million. The firm basically transforms the unstructured "dark data" like text and images and turns it into structured data. The latter can then be handled with conventional data analysis tools. The news comes from TechCrunch and essentially, the Cupertino giant has confirmed the acquisition by issuing a statement on the subject. So lets dive in to see some more details on the subject and how might Apple use the firm for its own set of purposes.

Apple Acquired Lattice Data That Transforms Dark Data Into Usable Structured Data

According to the source, the deal was closed a couple of weeks ago and almost 20 engineers have joined the larger company. An Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch,  “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

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Lattice was developed out of a Stanford research project DeepDive, which was a programming execution structure for statistical inference. It allowed engineers to solve data extraction, cleaning and integration problems together. Hence, it aims to take in unstructured data like images and text and transform into structured data at unmatchable scale and speed.

We continuously push the envelope on machine learning speed and scale with our bleeding-edge systems research. For years, we have been building systems and applications that involve billions of webpages, thousands of machines, and terabytes of data.

Lattice Data was co-founded by Christopher Ré, Michael Cafarella, Feng Niu and Raphael Hoffmann. About 70 to 80 percent of the data is unstructured, which is "dark". Since it is  unstructured, it is largely unusable when we speak of analytics and processing. Lattice Data uses machine learning which puts the data into order so we can analyse it through appropriate tools.

It’s unclear who Lattice has been working with, or how Apple would intend to use the technology. Our guess is that there is an AI play here: Our source said that Lattice had been “talking to other tech companies about enhancing their AI assistants,” including Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby, and had recently spent time in South Korea.

Since Apple has now acquired Lattice Data, we're not quite sure how the company will implement it in its products or services. There will be more to the story, so be sure to stay tuned in with us.

This is it for now, folks. What are your thoughts on Apple acquiring Lattice Data? Do you think Apple is making a major push into the machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.