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Apple's Siri To Get Smarter As $200 Million Acquisition Of 'Dark Data' AI Specialist Lattice Data Pushes Through

14 May 2017, 10:45 pm EDT By Vincent Lanaria Tech Times
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Siri could soon become smarter than it is today, as Apple has acquired the AI and machine learning company Lattice Data that specializes in turning unstructured "dark data" into usable information.  ( Oli Scarff | Getty Images )

Apple is expected to make its voice assistant Siri a lot smarter in the foreseeable future, as evidenced by its recent acquisition of AI company Lattice Data.

The Cupertino brand reportedly forked over $200 million to close the deal.

Apple Beefs Up AI Efforts

According to TechCrunch, an unnamed source told it that Apple has already completed the acquisition a couple of weeks earlier. The agreement also seems to be partly a hire, as approximately 20 engineers have come aboard Apple's workforce.

The company didn't exactly confirm the development, but to no one's surprise, it did give out its usual comment. As a refresher, here's what it says when it's asked about such matters:

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

In other words, that's more or less a confirmation in Apple parlance.

What Is Lattice Data?

Lattice Data is a firm that focuses on AI and machine learning technology and specializes in "dark data," which are essentially unstructured info such as text and images. It intends to make such data structured, allowing traditional tools to analyze them.

Considering that Apple didn't make an official announcement of the acquisition, it shouldn't come as a surprise that it didn't lay out its plans. Still, it's safe to expect that it aims to use the AI startup's resources to improve Siri.

Interestingly enough, the aforementioned source also said that Lattice Data had been going around and "talking to other tech companies about enhancing their AI assistants" before inking the deal with Apple, including Amazon and Samsung.

Siri Improvements Coming Soon

Taking into account what Lattice Data is set out to do, Apple could be planning on giving Siri the capability of handling user commands better. Put differently, the voice assistant could make more sense out of dark data.

More than that, Apple is rumored to launch a Siri-powered smart speaker soon, and it could be making this move to compete with the likes of Google Home or Echo and its expanding lineup.

Long Story Short

Apple is taking steps to up its AI game with the $200 million deal with Lattice Data, proving its determination to put Siri at the top of the competition.

To be clear, iOS or macOS users probably won't see changes just yet, but they can expect to see significant improvements in the long run, particularly getting better results and a better experience out of Siri when it learns how to make dark data usable.

It's also worth mentioning that the Cupertino brand is no stranger when it comes to tapping companies or experts here and there to boost its AI efforts, including but not limited to Carnegie Mellon University professor Ruslan Salakhutdinov and Tuplejump.

Now that everything's said and done, what do you think of the possible improvements making their way to Siri? Feel free to hit us up in the comments section below and let us know.

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