Apple has acquired an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning startup called Lattice.io, that was created from a Stanford University research project called DeepDive.
Apple confirmed the deal but provided little details about what it paid for the company or what it plans to do with Lattice.io. Various news reports put the acquisition at between $175 million and $200 million.
Lattice.io takes unstructured “dark” data and uses an AI-enabled engine to turn it into useable information. Dark data is the term used to describe data that is largely unusable for processing or analytics — it’s data that exists without labels or context so it’s difficult to make sense of. However, Lattice says its technology uses machine learning to process dark data and puts those results into a database. It enable users to extract, integrate, and predict problems in a single system allowing them to quickly build end-to-end data systems.
According to Crunchbase, Lattice.io was founded by Christopher Re, Michael Cafarella, Raphael Hoffmann, and Feng Niu. Re is a professor of computer science at Stanford, and Carafella is a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan. If Cafarella’s name sounds familiar it may be because he was co-creator of the Hadoop open source project that is designed to interpret large amounts of data and is the basis for the big data movement.
Apple isn’t the only big Silicon Valley player snapping up AI-based startups. Earlier this month Cisco acquired MindMeld, a privately held AI company based in San Francisco. Cisco paid about $125 million in cash for the firm that makes a voice-recognition engine powered by AI.