Rana El Kaliouby
Helping Autistic Patients Using Technology
Year of Birth
Field of Knowledge
Rana el Kaliouby (Arabic: رنا القليوبي; born 1978) is an Egyptian-American computer scientist and entrepreneur in the field of expression recognition research and technology development, which is a subset of facial recognition designed to identify the emotions expressed by the face. El Kaliouby’s research moved beyond the field’s dependence on exaggerated or caricatured expressions modeled by laboratory actors, to focus on the subtle glances found in real situations. She is the co-founder, with Rosalind Picard, and CEO of Affectiva.
A pioneer in Artificial Intelligence as well as the co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, an AI startup spun off from the MIT Media Lab. After growing up in Cairo, Egypt, she earned a PhD in Cambridge University, and then joined the MIT Media Lab as a research scientist, where she spearheaded the application of emotion recognition technology in a variety of fields, including mental health and autism. She left MIT to co-found Affectiva, a company credited with defining the field of Emotion AI and now works with 25% of the Fortune 500 and is a leader in emotion AI. Rana was named by Forbes to their list of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech, and Fortune included her in their list of 40 under 40 and was chosen by the World Economic Forum to be a Young Global Leader and member of WEF’s Future Global Council on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. She speaks regularly on ethics in AI and fighting bias in AI at conferences from the Aspen Ideas Festival to the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything. She hosted a PBS Nova.Rana el Kaliouby is on a mission to humanize technology with artificial emotional intelligence, or what she calls “Emotion AI.” through developing a “deep learning” platform that combines facial expression with tone of voice to infer how a person is feeling. She is the author of “Girl Decoded: A scientist’s quest to reclaim humanity by bringing emotional intelligence to technology”.