Dark Data, Apple and HBO

Apple recently acquired Lattice Data for $200 million.

Lattice Data specializes in trying to make sense of “Dark Data” and Apple thought this space was valuable enough to spend 200 million.

Apple has picked up Lattice Data, a company that applies an AI-enabled inference engine to take unstructured, “dark” data and turn it into structured (and more usable) information.

We all know data is useful, structured data is even more useful and our customers use us to turn unstructured data on the web into structured data, thereby making something that has low value to a high value commodity.

Data is the new oil – Fortune Magazine

We like to compare it to a diamond instead. The rough diamond is just a stone which needs to be polished and cut to unlock its value.

We do the same with data – help unlock its value.

Dark Data

Dark Data is an interesting take on the same unstructured data we have been trying to make structured for years, it is just that Lattice took the age old process and added an Artificial Intelligence (AI) spin to it.

Let the machines figure it out – brilliant.

The obvious benefit of this approach is that humans don’t need to be involved, and the obvious problem with that approach is that the quality of output produced will not match human delivered quality for many years to come.

What’s hard about Dark Data?

Lattice does claim this on their webpage (probably about to go “dark” soon post acquisition)

Dark data is unstructured data such as text and images.
Lattice turns dark data into structured data
with human-caliber quality at machine-caliber scale.

Some things are easier said than done – just ask Jian Yang from the HBO comedy – Silicon Valley.

Human-caliber quality will still be able to tell a “hot dog” from a “pizza” aka “not hot dog”, but companies in this space (including ScrapeHero) are on the right track. We need to walk before we can run.

What can AI do for dark data?

Lattice having come out of Stanford has some nice projects to showcase such as the Human Trafficking for DARPA and some academic (of course) – Medical Genetics, Pharmacogenomics etc.

What is ScrapeHero’s approach?

We are trying to identify patterns in unstructured data and developing better recognition in our technology and once that is at a stable point, the only natural progression is to scale it at as Lattice put it “machine caliber scale“.

The potential of using Machine Learning (ML), Image and Video processing and combining a plethora of IoT data and and finally applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) for correlating, identification pattern recognition, relationships and derive predictable and actionable items out of this vast data is massive.

The applications are endless in which ever industry generates data – pretty much every business and industry generates and consumes data.

We are just getting started on this long road.

What did Apple see (rather gobble)?

Apple is getting a early spot in this future world of data processing by grabbing Lattice today. While 200 million may seem like a large amount, a few years from now this buy will look like a bargain.

Data is the future, structured data is the diamond (or oil) of that future and the companies that help transform this data from unstructured to structured will continue to be increasingly valuable.

We humbly count ourselves in this segment of companies that are at the cusp of cracking this “mass structurization of data using machines”.

Even HBO is in on this game (“See Food – Shazam for Food”) – trying to unlock Dark Food Data with some interesting results …

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