Artificial intelligence (AI) is finally coming to the masses with tools like ChatGPT, but game-changing industry use cases have been transforming traditional models for years now. Particularly in Jerusalem, AI companies are disrupting [innovating and improving] even the most old-fashioned industries. The following are several companies with unique applications of AI and how they are making an impact:
Diptera was founded in 2020 by Vic Levitin, Ariel Livne and Elly Ordan to eliminate the issue of pests in agricultural environments. Having raised $3 million to date, the company utilizes what is called the “sterile insect technique” to suppress mosquito populations by more than 90%. This works by using AI to automatically sort mosquito larvae to centrally “produce” sterile males, which does not cause damage to crops.
The Jerusalem-based company operates as a subscription service, providing its eco-friendly solution to farms and agricultural environments plagued by mosquito infestations. Diptera’s solution also offers a positive tool to fight historically deadly and fast-spreading diseases and viruses such as malaria and Zika.
Flycomm was founded two years ago by serial entrepreneur Moshe Lugasi. The Jerusalem-based start-up works to solve the problem of poor delivery of communication services to city residents. Today, municipalities are utilizing outdated or poor data to determine where to place cell towers to provide the best coverage for residents. As a result, there are a number of “dead zones” where cell service is either unavailable or severely lacking.
The company, which already has Jerusalem as its client, uses AI and big data tools to provide cellular communications companies and municipalities with best-placement data for where to install new towers. Yoni Elitzur, the VP of sales and business development, says that “by analyzing big data with Flycomm’s AI algorithms, we are able to provide accurate cellular coverage information for any place by provider, technology, environment and application.” Having worked primarily in Israel, the fast-growing company is quickly expanding overseas.
“By analyzing big data with Flycomm’s AI algorithms, we are able to provide accurate cellular coverage information for any place by provider, technology, environment and application.”Yoni Elitzur
Ception was founded in 2019 as a means to improve productivity in environments where heavy equipment is used – such as construction sites, industrial plants and mines – as well as improving their profitability. Their flagship product, MineCept, analyzes real-time data with AI to give managers a full picture of the status of the machinery.
“We develop innovative AI technology to save lives and money in the world’s most dangerous industries, such as construction and mining. These are very conservative old-school industries that suffer from severe safety, efficiency and sustainability issues. It is clear today that the future of heavy industries will be shaped by AI capabilities, which transform the way heavy vehicles operate.”Yossi Buda
The Jerusalem-based company has raised $7 million and is working with sites around the world to better improve their processes. Yossi Buda, CTO and co-founder of Ception, says, “We develop innovative AI technology to save lives and money in the world’s most dangerous industries, such as construction and mining. These are very conservative old-school industries that suffer from severe safety, efficiency and sustainability issues. It is clear today that the future of heavy industries will be shaped by AI capabilities, which transform the way heavy vehicles operate.”
Ascento Medical was founded by Rami Cohen in 2022 to prevent cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. The company utilizes AI and machine learning to track patterns in at-risk patients to allow healthcare providers to detect early warning signs of decline. Ascento’s methods were developed by Prof. Eli Wertman at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, where the company is based.
The company is starting a pilot in Colombia in 2023 and is working to solidify more pilot programs in the United States, where such disorders are rampant in the older population, to help families prevent declines in their loved ones. CEO Cohen says that Ascento’s AI is changing the game because it provides “better outcomes – the ability to validate and improve decisions made by the medical teams. Also, higher accessibility and equality, enabling medical teams with less training and experience to offer advanced services, thus freeing precious resources for other assignments.”
Cnvrg.io was founded in 2016 and quickly grew to become a leader in its field. The technology assists data scientists in research and modeling optimization. AI and machine learning are at the core of their technology, whereby they are able to give data scientists the tools to better solve the problems they are working on.
The Jerusalem-based company was acquired in 2020 by Intel Corporation, where it works as an independent team within the corporate giant. Its original team still leads the company.
Lightricks is one of Jerusalem’s great success stories of the past decade. Founded in 2013, the company has raised over $330 million to date and is a staple for practically every content creator globally. Some of the company’s notable tools are Lightleap, Photoleap and Facetune.
AI features prominently at Lightricks and the future of the industry. Especially in content creation, AI is already changing the way creators make their content. Particularly with Lightricks, this takes the form of AI-based photo creation. With their tools, you can have any kind of image created in seconds just by typing in a few keywords. What Lightricks is doing is showing what the future of content will look like.
Ayyeka was founded in Jerusalem in 2015 to simplify data delivery in remote infrastructure settings. With Ayyeka, industries such as wastewater management are helped immensely. In this use case, wastewater managers are able to keep up to speed with the problems potentially facing their infrastructure — which in most cases may be miles away — and quickly act to fix them. This proactive solution enables municipal systems to remain functioning at high levels.
The company has won a number of awards that highlight its impact and is continuing to grow and sustain its presence as an industry changer.
In truth, there are too many companies to list that are shaking the ground in AI, particularly in Jerusalem. For this, institutions such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem can be thanked, as many AI companies grew from its halls. AI is not a simple endeavor; rather, it is a hill that takes extreme attention to detail and dedication to climb. In doing so, companies can provide industries with solutions to problems that have plagued them for decades, using innovative approaches that are so outside the box that they could not have been imagined prior. This in itself is the power of AI, and indeed it is only the beginning. ■
The writer, a Jerusalem Post staff member, is an entrepreneur and Hebrew thinker, known as Osher in Hebrew. A recent immigrant, he also helps oversee the start-up ecosystem in Jerusalem with Made in JLM. On Twitter: @troyfritzhand.