Munster: Why Apple bought a dark data mining startup

From a note to clients by Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster:

Apple recently acquired Lattice Data, a dark data mining company. Lattice Data takes “dark data,” meaning unstructured text and images, and turns it into structured information that can be used by traditional data analytics tools…

An estimated 70-80 percent of data on the internet is unstructured, dark data. Artificial Intelligence can be used to structure this data, making it more useful. While Apple has not made it clear how it will use Lattice Data’s technology, we expect the company to leverage Lattice technology to improve Siri. For example, by accessing this dark data that is currently unusable, Siri could become much more effective in our daily lives. Siri would be able to answer our obscure questions about odd historic events, have a better understanding of which movie theater we are talking about, or even find the exact hot dish recipe that we are looking for. Eventually, much of the user-generated content on the web could be accessible to digital assistants.

Artificial intelligence is one of Loup Ventures’ investment specialties..


  1. Gregg Thurman said:

    It shouldn’t be surprising that Apple is acquiring AI, AR and 3D imaging firms and has been constructing data centers around the world, as Apple thinks 4 – 5 years (minimum?) in advance of the rest of us.

    All of these technologies will require a mobile OS, processor/GPU power and 3D capable cameras 9dual lens anybody?)that is just now becoming available (if you are Apple, that is). The only thing missing is cellular bandwidth (enter 5G LTE). By the time 5G is broadly available Apple will have an installed base of iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches totaling ~200 Million units that will be able to utilize this new found capability.

    Scrolling through hundreds (thousands?) of photos, songs, emails, articles will be a thing of the past. Siri searches, using AI and dark data conversion will make voice searches (in complete sentences) a virtual snap and be more accurate Kinda explains all the data centers Apple is constructing around the world, doesn’t it?

    This is not true of Android products that are reliant on Google and Qualcomm for their future product development. Even if Google were to upgrade Android to handle these new features, manufacturers will only put that capability in their premium products, because cost of processors, memory, 3D cameras and GPUs ton run them will dictate higher prices. Further, with Android, older handsets cannot upgrade to the latest OS, requiring a much slower adoption via new handset sales.

    As I see it, the much talked about ‘super cycle’ is getting bigger each and everyday.

    May 16, 2017

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