Rana el Kaliouby, PhD, is co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, and author of the forthcoming book Girl Decoded, which is available for pre-order now. Rana is the pioneer of 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 $50 million in venture capital for Affectiva.
Rana's PhD research at the University of Cambridge developed one of the earliest prototypes of facial emotion recognition technology. Later, as a research scientist at MIT Media Lab, 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. Forbes recently included Rana in their list of America’s Top 50 Women In Tech, and Fortune Magazine included her in their 40 under 40, 2018 edition. She is also a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum.
“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."
"As more and more of our lives become interwoven with technology, we’re losing out ability to connect at a deep level with each other. What if computers could read and understand our emotions just the way we do?”
“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.”
"I believe AI is just another tool. It’s really up to us – people, societies – to define the role of technology. I tend to think of it less as a human vs. AI race, and more as a human machine partnership. This partnership needs to be built on trust and empathy."
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.