Artificial intelligence has arrived. After being a lore in comic books and science fiction movies, bits and parts of AI are making their way to our lives, especially on our mobile devices. For consumers, the most immediate transition will be catalyzed by the likes of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. Most of these companies have made giant strides in this segment. Apple s latest acquisition also indicates that the momentum will continue for the foreseeable future. Also Read - Apple Music Lossless, Spatial Audio features with Dolby Atmos coming soon to IndiaAlso Read - Apple sells more iPads in early 2021 than ever, grows along with Samsung
Apple has acquired Lattice Data, a California-based company that is known for using an AI-based inference engine to take unstructured and what it calls dark data to convert into a structured data. The deal is reported to be worth $200 million. Lattice grabbed everyone s attention when it commercialized a Stanford University research project DeepDive . The dark data is basically referred to the information collected through a variety of methods such as photos or logs but remains difficult to be interpreted for machines. Lattice developed a proprietary software based on DeepDive project. The company even received the backing of $20 million from DARPA. Also Read - Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels go live in 170 countries starting today
The company, on its website, further elaborates that the project is aimed at extracting value from several dark data sources to become a “programming and execution framework for statistical inference, which allows us to solve data cleaning, extraction, and integration problems jointly. We model the known as features and the unknown as random variables connected in a factor graph.”
As you might have guessed by now, Lattice s approach to machine learning is very unconventional. It says, We do not require laborious manual annotations. Rather, we take advantage of domain knowledge and existing structured data to bootstrap learning via distant supervision. We solve data problems with data.” ALSO READ: From Samsung Bixby to Apple Siri, is Artificial Intelligence ready for primetime?
With an objective to achieve a human-level quality, the company focuses on a machine scale of its platform to “push the envelope on machine learning speed and scale,” leading to “systems and applications that involve billions of webpages, thousands of machines, and terabytes of data. Interestingly, Apple reportedly paid the same amount for its acquisition of another machine learning company Turi, which is spearheaded by University of Washington computer scientist Carlos Guestrin. The acquisition happened last year.
One of the easiest predictions is that the latest acquisition will help improve machine learning on iPhones and perhaps even further empower Apple s digital assistant Siri. In all probability, it will help Siri respond to more complex questions, something which is clearly missing on Apple s Siri. Moreover, Apple is rumored to be working on an Amazon Echo rival. An improved digital assistant is going to help Apple gain an edge over the rivals. ALSO READ: Apple WWDC 2017: KGI analyst Kuo predicts new 10.5-inch iPad, Siri speaker with touchscreen