“When it comes to the digital world, our computers have trained us to behave as if we lived in a world ... where none of us can read one another’s emotional cues,” says Rana el Kaliouby in her new book Girl Decoded: A Scientist’s Quest To Reclaim Our Humanity By Bringing Emotional Intelligence To Technology.
In the height of the fourth industrial revolution, screen time has commandeered human interaction, while machines have reduced human thought to a series of rules and logical transformations. These trends have left many to question the effects of machine learning and the dehumanizing threat they pose to society. But what if we could “humanize” our machines to understand us in the way we understand one another? What if we could teach machines to capture the complexities of human thought and the nuances of human emotion? Can we encode machines with human qualities, like kindness, and teach them to respond to situations with empathy? Can we engineer emotional intelligence? Rana el Kaliouby believes we can.
Beyond logic, emotion is universal and necessary for daily functioning in social interactions, decision-making, perception, memory, learning and more. Just about every thought, action, and human interaction involves emotion, and most of how we communicate is through non-verbal cues. Computers must learn how to read and adapt to human emotion to be truly effective tools. And, by extension, to enable us to better connect with other people.
A leader in her field, Dr. el Kaliouby will decode “Emotion AI,” and explain how she’s training computers to read human facial and vocal expressions to strengthen tech’s emotional intelligence in health, transportation, media analytics, and education. She’ll trace how her own journey as a Muslim woman of science provided her with valuable insights about how being in touch with our own emotions is essential in order to build ethical technology. Learn how Emotion AI can help cure two decades of conducting a significant part of our lives and relationships in an emotion-free zone, and how technology can, perhaps, restore our own humanity to us.
Join us as Rana sits with NPR Silicon Valley Correspondent Aarti Shahani to share her story and her vision for the future of emotion-aware computing.
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