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Egyptian Entrepreneur Rana El Kaliouby Makes it To BBC’s Top 100 Women of 2019

The list also features littleBits's Lebanese founder Ayah Bdeir and Entrcrush's Tunisian founder Hayfa Sdiri.

BBC just revealed their annual list of the most influential and impact-driven women worldwide, with Affectiva’s founder Rana El Kaliouby gracing the list for her efforts in pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

“AI is at an inflection point: it’s increasingly acting on our behalf, taking on roles traditionally held by people. As we plan for a future, we need to ensure that diversity of all kinds – gender, race, age, education and perspectives – are represented,” says El Kaliouby. Just in case you were wondering what the future would look like if it were driven by women, this year’s list contains some of the most inspiring women sharing their vision of what life would be like in 2030.

Rana El Kaliouby founded Affectiva aiming to redefine AI-based technology, which is known for the lack of human-like features and solely based on machine learning, by developing Emotion AI software. Affectiva’s flagship software was established with the purpose of understanding users’ emotions by analyzing facial expression through a camera. The technology has been used in vehicles to detect sleepy drivers, for example.

Affeciva's founder is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, as part of her passion and advocacy for gender equality in tech and AI. Additionally, she holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and a post-doctorate from MIT.

Founder of STEM-based startup littleBits, Ayah Bdeir makes her debut on the list for her efforts to close the gender gap in science and technology by supplying thousands of young girls in California with free littleBits kits they can use to become future inventors.

Syrian computer scientist Noor Shaker and Tunisian social entrepreneur Hayfa Sdiri also make the list for their efforts to unlock potential in the region through accessible and inclusive technology and equal opportunities for women around the globe.

The list also features fellow Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman, who’s currently training to fulfill her desire to win a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Lastly, Bahraini-Nigerian athlete Salwa Eid Naser graces the list because of her stunning efforts in the Doha 400m run finals, breaking a three-decade long record and making her the reigning world champion.

Other Arab women mentioned on the list include Saudi artist Manal Al Dowayan, Syrian architect Marwa al Sabouni, Kuwaiti women’s rights activist Alanoud Alsharekh, Lebanese cultural activist Dayna Ash, Libyan peace reformist Rida AlTubuly, Sudanese protest leader Ahlam Khudr, and Yemeni lawyer Samah Subay.


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