Portrait image of Beth Coleman

Beth Coleman

Associate Professor

Working in the disciplines of science and technology studies and generative aesthetics Beth Coleman’s research focuses on artificial intelligence & smart technology, urban data and civic engagement, and transmedia arts. She is the author of Hello Avatar and Reality Was Whatever Happened: Octavia Butler AI and Other Possible Worlds, as well as many articles, including “Race as Technology” and “Technology of the Surround.” She has been a Google Brain and Responsible AI senior visiting researcher with as well as a 2021 Google Artists and Machines Intelligence awardee. She is a founding member of the Trusted Data Sharing group and research lead on AI policy and praxis at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology & Society. Her research affiliations have included the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University; Microsoft Research New England; Data & Society Institute, New York; and expert consultant for the European Commission Digital Futures. She served as the Founding Director of the U of T Black Research Network Institute Strategic Initiative. She is currently working on the monograph, AI in the World: perils and possibilities of a General Purpose Technology.

CCIT and DEM; Graduate Appointment at Faculty of Information

Yale University BA
New York University PhD


  • Coleman, B. (2023). Reality Was Whatever Happened: Octavia Butler AI and Other Possible Worlds. K Verlag, Berlin “Colonialism and AI/Machines.” The SAGE Handbook of Human-Machine Communication. Ed. Guzman, McEwen & Jones. Print.
  • Coleman, B. and Mackley, M. (2023). “Policy and Practice in Data Governance and Sharing: Modeling City of Toronto’s Digital Infrastructure Strategic Framework (DISF).” HEI City of Toronto.
  • Coleman, B. (2021). “Technology of the Surround.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 7(2): 1–20. Print.


Dr. Beth Coleman conducts research on technology and society with a focus on data and cities, AI and policy, and generative arts. Coleman is research lead on AI & Society at the Schwartz Reisman Institute and an associate professor at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.


Technology & Society
Data & Cities
AI & Policy
Generative Arts
Current Courses
Contemporary Communication Technologies; Black Indigenous Waterways