Apple confirms that it purchased AI firm Lattice Data for $200 million; purchase might improve Siri
Apple has reportedly purchased AI firm Lattice Data. A report published Saturday suggests that Apple used $200 million of its massive cash holdings to make the purchase, which includes 20 engineers that will be moving to Cupertino. The company helps turn so-called dark data (like text and images) into structured data that is more usable. In other words, think of all the data out there as information that is unlabeled and has the potential to be used if it were simply put away and filed where it could be easy to find. That is what Lattice does.
Remember when your parents kept telling you about the huge amount of garbage you were producing each day? Well, right now we are creating huge amounts of dark data. Back in 2013, there were 4.4 zettabytes of data floating about. IBM says that this will grow to 44 zetabytes by 2020. Big Blue also says that 90% of the amount of data in existence today was created just in the last two years, and as much as 80% of it is dark. One ZB equals 1 trillion GB.
The purchase of Lattice Data should help enhance the capabilities of Siri as AI personal assistants are asked to answer more complex questions. These personal virtual assistants, which include Google Assistant (Google), Cortana (Microsoft), Siri (Apple) and Alexa (Amazon), are spreading out from smartphones and tablets and are finding a place on smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, the upcoming Harmon Karmon Invoke and Apple's Siri-powered speaker which could be unveiled next month at WWDC. With this battle going on, Apple is hoping that the purchase of Lattice gives Siri an advantage over its rivals.