Rana el Kaliouby

Computer scientist
What if a computer could recognize your facial expression, and react to how you feel? Rana el Kaliouby sees big possibilities in making technology emotionally aware.

Why you should listen

Rana el Kaliouby, chief science officer and co-founder of Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab spin-off, is on a mission to bring emotion intelligence to our digital experiences. She leads the company's emotion analytics team, which is responsible for developing emotion-sensing algorithms and mining the world's largest emotion data database. So far, they've collected 12 billion emotion data points from 2.9 million face videos from volunteers in 75 countries. The company’s platform is used by many Fortune Global 100 companies to measure consumer engagement, and is pioneering emotion-enabled digital apps for enterprise, entertainment, video communication and online education.

Entrepreneur magazine called el Kaliouby one of “The 7 Most Powerful Women To Watch in 2014,” and the MIT Technology Review included her in their list of the “Top 35 Innovators Under 35.”

What others say

“Kaliouby has a Ph.D. in computer science, and, like many accomplished coders, she has no trouble with mathematical concepts like Bayesian probability and hidden Markov models. But she is also at ease among people: emotive, warm.” — The New Yorker

Rana el Kaliouby’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Rana el Kaliouby

Live from TEDWomen

Products with a story, tech with connection: The talks in Session 1 of TEDWomen 2015

May 28, 2015

Before there can be momentum, you need a spark to set it off. In the first session of TEDWomen, we hear from speakers with crackling ideas — from re-imagining an irksome weed as something useful, to helping technology sense and react to our emotions. Short recaps of these talks… A weed, transformed. The water hyacinth looks like a beautiful flower. […]

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Live from TEDWomen

Toward tech that can understand how we’re feeling: Rana el Kaliouby speaks at TEDWomen 2015

May 28, 2015

Most human beings can tell the difference between a smirk and a smile. Our computers and devices, however? Not so much. Fifteen years ago, Rana el Kaliouby left her home in Egypt to study computer science at Cambridge. With her husband at home, she found herself homesick. “I realized I was spending more hours with my laptop than any other human,” she […]

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