Lattice Data, a company that specializes in extracting useful information from unstructured data now belongs to Apple.

Ingrid Lunden, reporting for TechCrunch:

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've heard from a single source that Apple has paid a price of around $200 million.

The deal was closed a couple of weeks ago, the source said, and about 20 engineers have joined the larger company.

A lot of data analysis in general, and "big data" in specific, has to do with the analysis of structured data: nice, orderly tables all stacked up in neat rows and columns. Unstructured data is everything else.

So, almost like sifting for gold once all the easy-to-pluck nuggets have been harvested, extracting value from "dark data" has traditionally been much harder.

But now we have artificial intelligence and machine learning.

AI and ML have become huge buzzwords in the tech industry since last year, when several prominent companies took to their keynote stages to act like they'd just invented the terms.

Apple's been using ML and AI for years in everything from Siri to battery life management. What the company does with "dark data" will be interesting to see.

Any guesses?