About Girl Decoded
Rana el Kaliouby is a rarity in both the tech world and her native Middle East: a Muslim leader and CEO, a woman in charge in a field that is still overwhelmingly white and male. Growing up in Egypt and Kuwait, el Kaliouby was raised by a conservative father who valued tradition – yet also had high expectations for his daughters – and a mother who was one of the first female computer programmers in the Middle East. Even before el Kaliouby broke ground as a scientist, she broke the rules of what it meant to be an obedient daughter and, later, an obedient wife to pursue her own daring dream.
After earning her PhD at Cambridge, el Kaliouby, now the divorced mother of two, moved to America to pursue her mission to humanize technology before it dehumanizes us. The majority of our communication is conveyed through non-verbal cues: facial expressions, tone of voice, body language. But that communication is lost when we interact with others through our smartphones and devices. The result is a digital universe that’s emotion blind. To combat our fundamental loss of emotional intelligence online, she co-founded Affectiva, the pioneer in the new field of Emotion AI, allowing our technology to understand humans the way we understand one another. Girl Decoded chronicles Rana el Kaliouby’s journey from a “nice Egyptian girl” to a woman carving her own path as she revolutionizes technology. But decoding herself – learning to express and act on her own emotions–would prove to be the biggest challenge of all.
Rana el Kaliouby’s journey to overcome self-doubt and embrace her ambition will resonate with women everywhere. Girl Decoded is the kind of honest and inspiring story that will encourage other women to share their experiences and own their power.
Artificial intelligence is advancing exponentially. Creating a hopeful, compelling and abundant future for humanity depends on the work outlined by entrepreneur Rana el Kaliouby in her must-read book, Girl Decoded. It is critical that we embrace a future in which technology enhances our most human qualities, specifically empathy, caring and emotional intelligence.
Written with kindness, vulnerability, and grace, Girl Decoded reveals the tour de force that is Rana El Kaliouby. Her must-read memoir spurs technologists to follow their conscience and emboldens women all over the globe to fight for their dreams.
Rana el Kaliouby’s vision for how technology should work in parallel with empathy is bold, inspired, and hopeful. Girl Decoded is both a vivid coming-of-age story and a call to each of us to be more mindful and compassionate when we interact online.