UTM Celebrates International Women's Day: Beth Coleman

Beth Coleman
Beth Coleman: associate professor, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Photo courtesy of Professor Coleman.

We are proud to spotlight Professor Beth Coleman, a distinguished scholar and faculty member at UTM’s Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, and U of T’s Faculty of Information. 

Working in the disciplines of science and technology studies and generative aesthetics, Beth’s research focuses on artificial intelligence and smart technology, urban data and civic engagement, and transmedia arts. She investigates how advanced automation influences societies, communication and social dynamics and sheds light on how we can harness powerful technologies for the collective good. 

Beth previously published “Hello, Avatar,” a book examining the many modes of online identity and how users live on the continuum between the virtual and real. She is also creator of the art exhibition and forthcoming book “Reality was Whatever Happened: Octavia Butler AI and Other Possible Worlds.” This work demonstrates how AI can combat stereotypes rather than perpetuate them. 

In addition to these accomplishments, Beth is a senior visiting researcher with Google Brain and Responsible AI and a 2021 Google Artists Machine Intelligence Awardee. She is also a founding member of the Trusted Data Sharing group and incoming research lead on AI policy and praxis at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology & Society. Notably, Beth was the inaugural director of the Black Research Network at U of T – an Institutional Strategic Initiative (ISI) dedicated to advancing the work of Black scholars. 

Driven by her passion for transmedia arts, Beth co-founded SoundLab Cultural Alchemy – an internationally acclaimed multimedia art and sound platform. She also has a history of international exhibition and artist residencies and is currently working on the monograph, AI in the World: perils and possibilities of a General Purpose Technology. 

Beth’s dedication to ethical AI and her commitment to amplifying diverse voices are helping to promote equity and inclusion in the realm of technology and beyond. We look forward to seeing the impact of her research and advocacy as we navigate the complexities of the digital age.