Behind Her Empire Podcast: AI Trailblazer Rana el Kaliouby On Defying Expectations

Behind Her Empire Podcast: AI Trailblazer Rana el Kaliouby On Defying Expectations

On this week's episode of Behind Her Empire, hear from Rana el Kaliouby, an Egyptian-American scientist, innovator, author and CEO. She co-founded the artificial intelligence company Affectiva, and has pioneered a digital software she says can read and analyze human emotion in real time.


Rana grew up in Cairo where she was raised, as she says, to be a "nice Egyptian girl." She defied cultural expectations in both the tech world and in her native Middle Eastern heritage. She earned her Ph.D. at Cambridge, postdoc at MIT and is working in a field of technology that is still overwhelmingly white and male.

However, before she broke ground as a scientist and founded her company, she broke the rules of what it meant to be an obedient daughter and, later, an obedient wife to pursue her own daring dream. Hear Rana's personal journey overcoming self-doubt and embracing her ambition and her advice on being the leader of your own life.

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