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I’m Rana el Kaliouby, Host of NOVA Wonders & CEO of Affectiva. Ask me anything!
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  • r/Science AMAs

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r/Science AMAs
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With AI becoming mainstream, how will it affect the way we interact with our devices and how we communicate with each other? My name is Rana el Kaliouby, and I’m an Egyptian-American scientist and entrepreneur on a mission to humanize technology. I care deeply about ethics and trust in AI, from considering algorithmic bias to ensuring consent and data privacy. As Co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, an MIT spin-off that builds artificial emotional intelligence (“Emotion AI”), my company uses cutting-edge software that analyzes complex and nuanced emotional and cognitive states from the human face and voice, ultimately engineering empathy. For me, teaching machines to measure and interpret human emotions has the potential to enhance consumer experiences, engage students and personalize their learning, allow doctors and nurses to deliver better care, increase road safety by tracking driver alertness, and enable people with autism to better communicate with their families and peers. I consider myself a role-model for young scientists who are considering careers in technology and entrepreneurship. As a female Muslim scientist who’s one of a handful of women CEOs in the tech industry, I’m a huge advocate for diversity and inclusion—- not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the only way we can design and build smart technologies for an increasingly global world. Today, I’m also a co-host on PBS NOVA’s new series “NOVA Wonders,” in which incredible scientists from all walks of life tackle some of the biggest questions about life and the cosmos. I believe that science is the vehicle for innovation, so I’m truly excited to be a part of “NOVA Wonders”—- I especially love how NOVA shows that scientists come in all shapes, colors and sizes, thus providing diverse role-models that aspiring scientists can relate to and be encouraged by. I’m a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader and I served on WEF’s Global Future Council on AI and Robotics. I’m also a member of the Partnership on AI, which is concerned with ensuring that AI benefits society and is applied for good. A former research scientist at the MIT Media Lab with a PhD in computer vision and machine learning from the University of Cambridge, I use my voice to advocate for women in tech and for beneficial uses of AI—- I’m often cited in and interviewed by top business and mainstream outlets, including The New Yorker, Wired, Forbes, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and TIME Magazine. Check out my TED talk and my Inc. column, and do make sure to watch PBS NOVA’s episode on Can we Build a Brain, which premieres May 16 on PBS! Ask me anything about being a computer scientist, deep learning, building artificial emotional intelligence, the applications of it, ethics in AI or how its like to be a woman leader in tech. Thank you!