Interview With Ariel Applbaum - CEO of Forsight

Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks

In a recent interview with SafetyDetectives, Ariel Applbaum, CEO of Forsight, discussed the company’s journey and its motivation to improve construction safety. Forsight offers a cloud-based video management system that utilizes AI to detect and predict safety incidents, security threats, and operational challenges in real-time using CCTV cameras. Ariel highlighted the challenges in AI adoption in construction, including cost and data availability, and emphasized how AI can enhance safety and project management in the industry. Forsight ensures compliance with local standards through safety experts and collaboration with regulatory and legal experts to create safer construction environments.

Can you talk about your journey and what motivated you to establish Forsight?

It isn’t a fairy-tail founding story – we were really born through extensive research into the space and tons of time spent talking to construction and site managers. Over 1000 people die on a jobsite every year, and the average large projects take 20% longer to finish than planned and are 80% over budget. We noticed that many job sites had security cameras that were being used to review footage once an incident occurred. With our technical and industry background, we realized that we could enable those cameras to detect safety risks, security threats and operational challenges, proactively instead of reactively.

Can you briefly explain the main services of Forsight and how you aim to revolutionize the construction industry?

Forsight is the first cloud-based video management and intelligence system purpose-built for construction sites and industrial facilities. Forsight uses CCTV cameras that are either already in place or that we install, along with our proprietary AI software, to detect and predict safety incidents, security threats, and management issues in real-time.

First, we make it easy to deploy, manage and unify cameras across sites. Then our AI continuously analyzes a scene to detect potential issues and will send out real-time alerts to the client. Finally, we automate entire workflows, including timecard tracking and gate monitoring. With these tools, you can more effectively manage not just one individual site, but an entire portfolio.

What are the biggest challenges that you see in the adoption of AI construction technology?

  • Cost of Implementation: AI technology often requires significant investment in hardware, software, training, and data collection. Small and medium-sized construction companies may find it challenging to allocate the necessary resources, but being camera agnostic, we can work with a client to identify the right solution based on their budget. We also have some pretty significant innovations that help us keep our solution affordable.
  • Data Availability and Quality: AI relies on large datasets to train models effectively. In the construction industry, getting access to relevant, high-quality data can be difficult, especially for smaller companies. Forsight has a great technical team that has found innovative ways to solve for this and create a robust pipeline. And now that we’re deployed on quite a few job sites, we have collected a significant amount of quality data.
  • Resistance to Change: The construction industry is traditionally conservative, and there can be resistance to adopting new technologies. Workers and management may be apprehensive about the impact of AI on their jobs and workflow.However once we demonstrate the value of the system – from a safety, security, and remote visibility standpoint, those concerns quickly go away.
  • Complexity of Projects: Construction projects vary widely in terms of size, complexity, and scope. Developing AI systems that can adapt to the unique requirements of each project can be challenging. Forsight has spent a lot of time creating a solution that is very versatile and can provide value in many different environments.

How can AI technology help to improve safety on construction sites?

A couple of examples would be:

  • AI-powered cameras can monitor construction sites for safety compliance, such as identifying workers not wearing the appropriate PPE or detecting someone entering a hazardous area.
  • AI can predict when a project and it’s workers are most at risk and react accordingly. It can analyze the risks on a specific project and/or across an entire portfolio to help focus corporate resources and efforts.

With AI technology evolving every day, being able to utilize it to operate safer job sites will eventually become the norm.

How has AI impacted project management timelines and budget adherence in construction?

AI has had a notable impact on project management timelines and budget adherence in construction in several ways – for example, predictive analytics for risk mitigation, resource optimization, and real-time monitoring and reporting.

And while AI has significantly improved project management in construction, it’s essential to note that its effectiveness depends on the quality and quantity of data available, as well as the extent to which construction companies embrace these technological advancements. When properly implemented, AI can contribute to better project management, shorter timelines, and improved budget adherence in the construction industry. For example, our AI timecards not only automate the process of keeping track of work, but also predict when deviations from schedules have occurred.

How does Forsight ensure that AI recommendations or automations comply with local construction standards and safety regulations?

Forsight has experts in construction safety that are involved in the development and oversight of the system. They review and validate the recommendations, providing an additional layer of compliance assurance. We also work closely with folks who are experts in regulation, law and worker sentiment to make sure we are not only complying but going above and beyond to make the workplace a happier, safer and more compliant environment.

About the Author

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.