Apple buys machine learning specialists Lattice Data for $200M

It's become clear in the last few years that Apple is doubling down on its focus on Siri, with recent advancements including the use of AI and other technology that allows the assistant to do more with data from users. In what's likely a part of that effort, it's been revealed that Apple has acquired Lattice Data, an AI and machine learning company that specializes in "dark data," or unorganized information like images and text.

According to TechCrunch, Apple paid roughly $200 million for Lattice Data in what appears to be a "acqui-hire" deal, with the small company's 20 engineers making the move to Cupertino offices. Apple hasn't revealed exactly how it plans to use the acquisition, instead offering its standard statement about not commenting on when it buys smaller technology companies.

However, it seems pretty clear that Lattice Data will be used to improve Apple's AI technologies. The firm is said to take "dark data," or data that is unstructured, and turn it into structured data that can be used by processing and data analysis tools. In other words, the data can become usable by digital assistants such as Siri.

It's hard to know exactly how Siri will be improved with this technology, but more than likely in the long run we'll see the assistant better able to handle commands and responses that aren't given in a specific structure. The acquisition is said to have closed in the last few weeks, so the next year or two will probably see some of the biggest advancements to Siri in quite a while.

SOURCE TechCrunch