US tech giant Apple acquires Lattice Data

US tech giant Apple has acquired Lattice Data, a specialist in turning unstructured ''dark data'' such as text and images into structured data, for around $200 million, reports said on Saturday.

Lattice applied an artificial intelligence-enabled inference engine to work on unstructured, dark data and turn it into structured (and more usable) information.

''Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,'' TechCrunch quoted a company spokesperson as saying.

The deal, which closed a couple of weeks ago led to 20 Lattice engineers joining Apple. Lattice was created in 2015 from the commercialisation efforts on DeepDive, a system devised at Stanford to ''extract value from dark data''.

It was not clear who Lattice had been working with, or how Apple could use the technology that could be used for AI, medical research or other areas, the report said.

However, according to a source, Lattice had been ''talking to other tech companies about enhancing their AI assistants,'' which included Amazon's Alexa and Samsung's Bixby, and had recently spent time in South Korea.

In a recent acquisition Apple bought Beddit, an app and sleep system designed to monitor daily sleep habits through the iPhone.