Affectiva invites local developers to test emotion-sensing tech

February 3, 2016

When Waltham startup Affectiva announced a hackathon inviting local coders to try out the company’s emotion-sensing technology, the organizers were shocked at how quickly the roster filled up. The bigger surprise: half the developers who signed up were women.

Hackathons, like most tech events, tend to be demographically skewed: most speakers, panelists, and participants are young, male, white.

“I was very vocal that we wanted gender balance,” said Rana el Kaliouby, who co-founded Affectiva with Rosalind Picard, her mentor at the MIT Media Lab. “I think that allowed us to be thoughtful about how we got there.”

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