Imagine if a learning app could sense you were confused and slowed down its pace accordingly. Imagine if that same app could tell that you were bored, so it consequently picked up the pace (just like any good teacher would in a classroom). Imagine if your car sensed you were tired and stopped you driving, or if your fridge could sense you are stressed and automatically locked to prevent a binge-eating spree!

Rana El-Kaliouby is an Egypt-born computer scientist who is on a mission to bring emotions into the world of technology and make our technology more responsive through AI. She wants the devices that once separated us to bring us back together. Recently, the Wall Street Journal hosted Kaliouby on one of their podcasts, and three years ago she was featured on the TEDx stage in California, USA.

Kaliouby’s field is Expression Recognition Research and Technology Development, which basically falls under the big technological umbrella of facial recognition, only its purpose is to identify the emotions that faces express. CEO of Affectiva, and head of the company’s Emotion Science Team, Kaliouby isn’t just a scientist or a brilliant entrepreneur, she’s an innovator.

After earning her Bachelors and Master of Science degree from the American University in Cairo, Rana El-Kaliouby earned her Ph.D at Newnham College, Cambridge. Soon after, she built emotion technology with a focus on mental health when she was a Research Scientist at MIT Media Lab.

With many prestigious awards under her belt, like 2018 Fortune 40 under 40 and 2018 Inc Female 100, Kaliouby is an unstoppable force of nature. We are both ecstatic and proud to see Egyptian women dominate!

By Dina Khafagy

Cover by Joi Ito