Rana el Kaliouby, PhD, is co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, the pioneer in artificial emotional intelligence—Emotion AI. The next frontier of Artificial Intelligence, Emotion AI is projected to become a multi-billion dollar industry. Rana led the innovation of the company’s award winning technology, which uses deep learning and massive amounts of data to analyze complex and nuanced emotions and cognitive states from face and voice. And, she raised over $26 million in venture capital for Affectiva.
Prior to founding Affectiva, Rana was as a research scientist at MIT Media Lab where she spearheaded the applications of emotion recognition technology in a variety of fields, including mental health and autism research.
Rana holds a BSc and MSc in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo, a PhD from the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and a Post Doctorate at MIT.
Rana is one of few women leading a disruptive AI company. A Muslim-American and passionate advocate, she frequently speaks in press and on stage, about innovation, women in technology, ethics in AI and leadership. Fortune Magazine recently included Rana in their 2018 40 under 40.
“I just have this deep conviction that we’re building a new paradigm of how we communicate with computers. That’s been the driving factor of my work. We are changing how humans connect with one another."
“So one reason I think we’re now dehumanizing each other is because we communicate primarily through digital. A lot of our communication has now become digital, and it does not mimic the natural way we have evolved to communicate with each other, so it’s almost like we have this muscle, these social-emotional skills, and they’re atrophying, right? You look at young kids — you know how there’s all these articles about kids being in an accident and instead of jumping in to help, they’ll just stand and shoot video on their phone — you’ve got to wonder whatever happened to good old empathy right?”
“I’m a big believer that in the next three to five years, this is going to be ubiquitous, and our devices will have ‘emotion chips’ and a variety of sensors for the state of people around it – it’s a natural evolution from the mouse and keyboard we used to use, to touch interfaces, and most recently the way devices have become conversational. The next stage of that evolution is for devices to become perceptual.”
"About 55 percent of inferring your mental states is done through your face and gestures. Another 38 percent is how you are saying it, your tone and your inflection. Only 7 percent is on your choice of words. That means most of this industry is ignoring 93 percent of the data available."
The Next Web:
“As Emotion AI is embedded into more and more conversational interfaces and social robots, no longer will it be socially acceptable to scream angrily at Alexa. She might respond with something like, “please don’t yell at me, that hurt my feelings.” As technology becomes “more human” so, too, will our interactions with one another. We will come full circle, and empathy will soon be back at the center of how we connect and communicate.”
As a female, Muslim scientist with a doctorate degree, Rana el Kaliouby is a role model, especially for young women in science and technology. Rana is one of few women who has successfully transitioned from academia to business, has founded her own technology company and has raised several rounds of funding from top tier investors. Rana is passionate about mentoring young scientists who are considering careers in technology and entrepreneurship.