WASHINGTON – Ali Çınar- Turkish Journal had a special interview with Sercan Esen, the founder of New York-based Inteseye after the studies started on artificial intelligence and employee privacy in the US Congress.
What opportunities can AI offer in terms of employee health and safety (EHS)?
As you can imagine, it is a very huge and challenging task for a small EHS team to maintain the health and safety of an entire facility with hundreds of thousands of employees. We know well that the environmental health and safety of a facility should not be the responsibility of just a few employees. It is impossible to observe everything that is occurring in a facility with just the human eye and take action against it.
This is exactly where AI comes into play. Intenseye’s AI-powered system enables EHS teams to identify unseen hazards, instantly detect incidents that could cause workplace accidents with 24/7 real-time notifications, and take corrective action. Currently, most EHS compliance systems that don’t use AI rely on manual checks. Workers must input data manually, logging accidents and injuries that have happened and using that information to help prevent the same thing from happening in the future. These are known as lagging indicators, data points used to analyze an event after it has happened. AI opens up the possibility of using leading indicators, and predictions based on data. This is made possible by the ability of AI systems to constantly analyze a workplace and process all the data it receives in a matter of seconds. With this vast amount of data and advanced analysis capabilities, AI systems can make predictions about which elements of an environment are likely to lead to injury before it happens.
By processing big data in real-time, AI also helps to identify areas where accidents occur most frequently and where additional EHS measures or training are required. AI also helps quantify EHS metrics and create a feedback loop with EHS workflows designed to foster trust, elevate safety culture and help close the gap between leadership and frontline. So with the use of AI, businesses can create a common positive EHS culture throughout their facilities and the organization as a whole.
At Intenseye, our mission is to disrupt the traditional approach to workplace safety by empowering safety teams with real-time, data-driven insights. We aim to replace lagging indicators with leading indicators, enabling safety teams to proactively identify and address hazards before they result in incidents. By providing an innovative, AI-powered solution, we strive to transform the way safety teams operate, making workplaces safer and more efficient around the world.
How does Intenseye’s technology work?
Using AI and machine learning technology, we developed a solution that allows companies to connect their existing cameras within their facilities and leverage their CCTV network to detect any unsafe conditions. With over 45 enterprise-ready use cases, Intenseye focuses on high-risk activities that can lead to life-altering events, including fatalities. We operate in multiple sectors, such as manufacturing, logistics, oil and gas, and retail covering the vast majority of EHS-related risk factors, including getting stuck in between moving objects, being hit by moving objects, working at heights, restricted work locations, walking under suspended loads, and ergonomics.
Privacy is often a concern with AI. How does Intenseye ensure the privacy of individuals in workplace settings?
At Intenseye, we take both workplace safety and employee privacy seriously. That’s why we utilize advanced face-blurring and 3D anonymization algorithms to protect personal information and cultivate a sense of psychological safety and trust at work. We comply with relevant regulatory frameworks, meaning we only utilize video surveillance for the legitimate interest of maintaining a safe work environment. We prioritize data minimization, collecting and storing only necessary information. Our commitment to privacy and security is reflected in our use of pseudonymization algorithms, which blur faces by default and ensure that we do not collect biometric data or recognize faces. We have clear and explicit reasons for collecting and processing personal data, and we rely only on a lawful basis for processing. We are continuously improving our privacy protocols, and we have obtained SOC 2 Type I and II certifications to validate our policies and procedures for security, availability, privacy, and confidentiality.
Can you tell us more about Intenseye’s new 3D anonymization technique?
Our AI tracks incidents instead of individuals, rendering individuals in workplace settings completely unidentifiable without compromising the overall context to detect unsafe acts and conditions with 3D anonymization. It is based on advanced deep learning algorithms that identify individuals and then follow their every movement in 3D space until they move out of the scene. The algorithms then capture postures by detecting limbs and joints through 3D keypoint detection. Our unique 3D anonymization technique removes the individuals from the scene and places a realistic rendered animation on the inpainted image, ensuring irreversible anonymization. We are continuously working to improve our privacy protocols and will be launching more cutting-edge best practices to protect workers’ privacy.
What measures does Intenseye take to ensure deployment that puts data privacy and responsible AI in view?
We recognize the potential ethical risks associated with the unintended use and further development of AI technology, which is why Intenseye is committed to designing it in a way that cannot be repurposed for unjustified surveillance on frontline teams. Intenseye applies a responsible data and AI approach throughout the lifecycle of its various models. Also, Intenseye processes a dataset of 22 billion images collected from 25 countries, making it the most diverse dataset in the Safety AI field. This extensive dataset provides a wider range of examples for related use-case development and enables the training of the best AI models for workplace safety. The company’s responsible AI policies are deeply integrated into the product development processes, and Intenseye is proudly committed to providing accurate, reliable, secure, and efficient workplace safety solutions that put the wellbeing and privacy of employees first.
We ensure that our system design, end goals, and treatment of individuals subject to the system are ethically justifiable, mitigating potential risks related to privacy and bias through design choices and user agreements. Our system is designed to protect worker privacy and we do not collect or use personal or biometric data. We commit to the ethical use of our system and do not share identifiable data beyond safety violations. As AI becomes more advanced, it can be challenging for humans to understand how algorithms produce a given result, that’s why explainable AI is crucial for building trust and confidence when putting models into production.
Q: What is Intenseye’s vision for the future of workplace safety and privacy?
Our vision is to create a safer and more secure working environment for employees. By tracking incidents rather than individuals, our solution not only reduces workplace accidents but also fosters a culture of trust and respect among employees and accordingly contributes to psychological safety in workplaces. We are committed to constantly evaluating our dataset and technology to prevent unintended prejudice and discrimination while prioritizing individual privacy.
Intenseye is a category-defining environmental health and safety (EHS) platform powered by cutting-edge AI. Using existing cameras within facilities, Intenseye empowers EHS leaders to see the unseen hazards and save lives proactively, through 24/7 analysis of workplaces and real-time EHS leading indicator data. Intenseye identifies and analyzes 45+ EHS use cases with very high accuracy rates, helps protect 100,000+ workers for leading industrial groups and Fortune 500 companies in 25 countries across the globe.
Intenseye works with industries where there is a high risk of injury, currently including warehouses, retail, electricity, chemicals, and many others. Intenseye was founded in 2018 and raised $4 million in seed funding, followed by a $25 million Series A round last year led by Insight Partners. For more information about Intenseye’s 3D anonymization technique and other workplace safety solutions, visit intenseye.com
Sercan Esen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Intenseye, a pioneering company specializing in computer vision and artificial intelligence solutions that are driving transformative change in workplace health and safety.
Sercan’s career began at a leading tech company, where he served as a software engineer and led global development projects in computer vision AI and web technologies. After gaining valuable experience in these fields, he transitioned into an AI consultant role, focusing on computer vision applications in various industries. His entrepreneurial spirit eventually led him to co-found Intenseye with a mission to revolutionize workplace safety.
Since its establishment in 2018, Intenseye has rapidly positioned itself as a category leader for safety AI SaaS, with customers and industrial facilities in 26 countries using Intenseye’s solutions 24/7 to improve their safety. Under Sercan’s leadership, the company has raised $29 million in funding, bolstering its commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that transform industries. From the company’s New York City headquarters, Sercan directs Intenseye’s go-to-market strategies, EHS customer success, and product development teams, ensuring the continued growth and success of the company on a global scale.