Your Technology Needs Empathy. Here’s Why.

So much of our daily communication is nonverbal, and that matters – a lot.

Our nonverbal communications – such as facial expressions and tone of voice – communicate so much meaning beyond the words we say. But these nuances are completely lost when we communicate through smartphones and other technologies, which is happening now more than ever before.

The result is a digital universe that’s emotion-blind and lacking in empathy. We risk entering a worldwide empathy crisis, warns Rana el Kaliouby. And she’s on a personal – and professional – mission to reverse it.

Dr. el Kaliouby, pioneer of the new field of Emotion AI, realized the shortcomings of human-through-machine interaction first-hand when she moved to the U.K. from Egypt and struggled to meaningfully connect with family thousands of miles away. Eventually, she co-founded Affectiva, the category-defining MIT spinoff where she is currently CEO, to invent the company’s award-winning Emotion AI that’s currently used by 25 percent of the Fortune Global 500 companies and leading car manufacturers.

It’s a captivating journey that el Kaliouby chronicles in her forthcoming memoir, “Girl Decoded: A Scientist’s Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology” (Penguin Random House, April 2020).

The memoir is about more than humanizing technology; she also shares what she’s learned about humanity along the way.

An Egyptian-American, a scientist turned entrepreneur, a single mom and a trailblazing woman in tech… el Kaliouby is a rarity and a role model. “Girl Decoded” provides an intimate window into her personal transformation with the hope that it inspires others to forge their own paths.

El Kaliouby doesn’t just envision a world where devices and technologies that now separate us will ultimately bring us together – she’s actively creating it.

Pre-order “Girl Decoded” today and be the first to read it on April 21, 2020.

Jennifer Zottola: