Race to build AI expertise is on among major tech companies. The mere specialization of the expertise requires the tech and internet giants to go for inorganic routes via acquisitions or acquihires. Apple with its ever increasing pile of cash has made another acquisition in the AI space by acquiring a little known company called Lattice Work.
Lattice work was born as an extension to one the machine learning project at stanford called DeepDive which was built to extract value from Dark Data. Dark data is basically unstructured data which directly doesn’t conform to any specific structured format (SQL) and lies buried in text, tables, images etc and hence can’t be operated upon or analysed with current set of tools. So Deepdive essentially converts that data and feeds it into database which then can be hooked up to other visualizing tools such as domo or tableau. DeepDive is a new type of data management system that enables one to tackle extraction, integration, and prediction problems in a single system, which allows users to rapidly construct sophisticated end-to-end data pipelines, such as dark data BI (Business Intelligence) systems. By allowing users to build their system end-to-end, DeepDive allows users to focus on the portion of their system that most directly improves the quality of their application. What makes this technology interesting is that previous pipeline-based systems required developers to build extractors, integration code, and other components—without any clear idea of how their changes improve the quality of their data product. This simple insight is the key to how DeepDive systems produce higher quality data in less time.
Lattice quietly raised at least $20 million funding from GV, Madrona and InQTel before exiting from stealth last year. Though it is still unclear as to how Apple plans to use their tech or if it was simply for the team pedigree. But improving its OS AI capabilities and increasing the prowess of its AI assistant Siri can be potential applications.