Affectiva is on a mission to humanize technology, bridging the gap between humans and machines. Founded by visionary scientists Dr. Rana el Kaliouby and Dr. Rosalind Picard, Affectiva spun out of the MIT Media Lab in 2009. Rana was Affectiva’s CEO for several years, and Roz today still heads up the Affective Computing group at MIT Media Lab. Affectiva created and defined the Emotion AI category, and evangelized its many uses across industries.

Over the years, Affectiva has been recognized as an innovative AI startup and we are proud to have received many awards and accolades — including CB Insights AI 100, Forbes AI 50: America’s Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies, Fortune Top 50 Companies leading the AI revolution.

A scientist turned entrepreneur and best-selling author, Rana el Kaliouby, one of few women leading an AI company, is widely seen as an AI thought leader and advocate for diversity and inclusion in tech and leadership. She’s a TED speaker, and co-host of a PBS NOVA series on AI. Rana has also been recognized on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list and as one of Forbes’ Top 50 Women in Tech.

Affectiva was venture-backed and over the years raised $53 million in capital from leading investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Horizon Ventures, Fenox Venture Capital and WPP. In 2021, Smart Eye acquired Affectiva. We merged our companies to create a transatlantic AI juggernaut that will lead and accelerate the growth and development of the rapidly evolving automotive Interior Sensing market, as well as the Media Analytics and Research markets. 


Affectiva’s industry leading Emotion AI detects nuanced human emotions, complex cognitive states, activities, interactions and objects people use. Our technology has been developed by applying our deep expertise in machine learning, computer vision, and the acquisition and annotation of massive amounts of real-world data. Always done with a focus on the ethical development and deployment of AI. As a startup, Affectiva focused on productizing its technology for the following markets: Media Analytics  and Automotive.


Affectiva’s Media Analytics division helps media, entertainment, and market research companies gain a deeper understanding of how consumers and audiences engage with their content, products and services. Today our Media Analytics solutions are used by 70 percent of the world’s largest advertisers, and 28 percent of the Fortune Global 500 companies.



In recent years, Affectiva broadened its technology to automotive interior sensing, using machine learning and computer vision to gain a deep, human-centric understanding of what’s happening in a vehicle. Affectiva’s Interior Sensing AI is enabling leading car manufacturers, fleet managers and ridesharing companies to build next-generation mobility that understands the state of the driver, the cabin and the occupants in it.


Now that we are part of the Smart Eye Group, we’ll continue to invest in the many applications of Emotion AI in media analytics, automotive, and beyond.