adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.50

Buy for $31.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In a captivating memoir, an Egyptian American visionary and scientist provides an intimate view of her personal transformation as she follows her calling - to humanize our technology and how we connect with one another.

Longlisted for the Porchlight Business Book Award

"A vivid coming-of-age story and a call to each of us to be more mindful and compassionate when we interact online." (Arianna Huffington)

Named one of the best books of the year by Parade

Rana el Kaliouby is a rarity in both the tech world and her native Middle East: a Muslim 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 strict 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 nonverbal 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 an emotion-blind digital universe that impairs the very intelligence and capabilities - including empathy - that distinguish human beings from our machines.

To combat our fundamental loss of emotional intelligence online, she cofounded 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 el Kaliouby’s journey from being a "nice Egyptian girl" to becoming 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. 

©2020 Rana el Kaliouby and Carol Colman (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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." (Tory Burch, founder and executive chairman of Tory Burch LLC)

"Rana el Kaliouby’s vision for how technology should work in parallel with empathy is bold, inspired, and hopeful." (Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global)

"As an entrepreneur and computer scientist, Rana el Kaliouby has done pioneering work to infuse technology with emotion and leverage technology to enrich our understanding of emotions. In this forthright, engaging memoir, she takes us behind the scenes of her work and through the key events that have shaped her life and worldview." (Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author of Originals and Give and Take)

What listeners say about Girl Decoded

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    44
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story!

I read this book for a book club. It was an excellent, inspiring story. Very thought provoking...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring and enlightening

A great story of a young woman’s journey to be pioneer in the world of Artificial Intelligence. I found the author’s narration added an additional dimension to the story that the words alone or another narrator would have failed to convey. I’ve gifted this book to all the young women I my life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Emotion is more natural than language

Everything you’d want in an audiobook... informative, interesting, personal and provocative. I’ve always wanted to visit Egypt...this offered a very personal cultural tour. Rana’s ethical position on AI is essential, advocating for all of us, humanity, with her position, authority and voice is what we need to assure a better future. AI isn’t a choice at this point, but how we evolve it to serve humanity is.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Redefining Our Standards

Very inspiring story both on a personal and social level: Who am I and what do I believe in? What kind of society do we want to live in and how does our technology propel or prevent this vision from becoming our reality?

Rana el Kaliouby asks thought provoking questions that encourage the reader and challenge the industry to redefine our standards for the software and technologies we use everyday. Let’s create a world that embraces the empathy we all need without giving up the privacy and consent we all deserve.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully Human

A well done sharing of Egyptian culture, along with, the “best” hope for, and evolution of, the technology of Artificial Intelligence. A great and enjoyable read for lay audiences. A must-read for tech professionals worldwide.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

Nice audiobook by CEO of Affectiva, an AI company, specializing in emotional, affective, AI. Narration is by the author, very clear and nice to listen to. The book narrates how Rana, the author, an Egyptian woman, Muslim, wearing hijab until recently, embraces her vision of a humanized technology. Rana went on to describe how embracing her own emotions empowered her on a journey of self actualisation by decoding herself and pursing her vision. Rana self-portrayed herself as a dedicated technology leader who is not only determined to bring the best that AI can bring to the world but also unflinchingly focused on the vital importance of ethical conduct of AI and technology companies. Excellent read and audiobook.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

i'm torn

I liked the first part, learning about her childhood. The middle part, about her business, was kinda boring to me. Then the end, which talks about current applications and issues, really got me. So.... 🤷

I liked hearing the author read her own work.

I did get more than a little tired of the phrase "nice Egyptian girl" tho!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very inspiring

The book is inspiring on multiple levels, one is for Rana to break through all the Middle East challenges as a woman on her own. Two is for her to start a successful AI company (in a mostly male-dominated industry) in the US. Three is her discipline and core values to run Affectiva.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Egyptian techie’s life story

I really enjoyed Rana’s journey through life. From childhood in Egypt and Kuwait to doctoral study in Cambridge U to postdoc at MIT Media Lab to startup technology company, Rana tells all the ups and downs.

Honesty in emotion and feelings makes the story interesting and down to earth. She started her studies and career at just the right time and gives a picture of the early days of advanced tech and AI. She reviews the most recent and most promising applications for Emotion AI.

My only issue was her narration voice which sounds like she’s reading out loud. A little sing-song in tone that sounds just a little immature. I hate to criticize but it almost made me stop to go to my next book. Glad I didn’t.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story of a Woman's Pursuit of Her Vision

Rana presents to us a wonderful story of her growing up, her family, her culture, her love of technology for the good of humanity, and her relentless pursuit of a dream. It is a story that should encourage us all... and she even openly confesses her shortfalls. She is amazingly transparent in all this... and it is a story that will captivate you. She walks us through her growing up years, education, marriage, having children, and starting a company focused in a field that most stayed away from. Rana pursued a dream... a vision that many told her was impossible... that today it is clearly a reality. She talks about the future of AI, it's interaction with humans, and how it can be improved. Once you pick the book up or start to listen... you will be hooked to finish it. It is a highly recommended read / listen.