Skip to main content
This is a photo of Dr. Isabel Pedersen.

Isabel Pedersen


Director of the Digital Life Institute

Communication and Digital Media Studies

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Bordessa Hall - Room 503
Downtown Oshawa
55 Bond Street East
Oshawa, ON

905.721.8668 ext. 5874


Dr. Isabel Pedersen is Professor of Communication Studies at Ontario Tech University. She is the founding director of the Digital Life Institute, an international research network of multidisciplinary scholars studying the social implications of emergent digital technologies ( She studies the cultural, ethical, and political challenges posed by technological change. She is co-author of Writing Futures: Collaborative, Algorithmic, Autonomous (2021, Springer), and co-editor of Embodied Computing: Wearables, Implantables, Embeddables, Ingestibles (2020, MIT Press). She is published in academic journals including the Journal on Computing and Cultural HeritageJournal of Information, Communication and Ethics in SocietyInternational Journal of Cultural Studies, and Parol – Quaderni d’arte e di eipistemologia. Dr. Pedersen has held several distinguished positions, including Canada Research Chair in Digital Life, Media, and Culture (2012 - 2022) and membership in The Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists (2014 - 2021). 

Dr. Pedersen has given invited international talks and keynotes, including the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Big Thinking on the Hill Lecture Series, introduced by Federal MP Greg Fergus on April 28, 2020. She spoke at World Science Festival in New York, IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (Keynote), Global Affairs Canada AI Symposium, IFA Summit Berlin (Keynote), Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the International Wearables Technologies Conference in Munich (Keynote), The International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) World Assembly (Keynote), the Canadian Association of Journalists Annual Conference (Keynote), The Walrus Talks, TEDx, Spur Festival (Calgary and Toronto), Subtle Technologies, and Mesh Toronto.


  • PhD, English Language and Literature University of Waterloo

Research and expertise

Dr. Isabel Pedersen focuses on embodied computing, algorithmic culture, augmented reality, emergent media, and AI ethics.


  • Selected publications

    Andrea Slane and Isabel Pedersen. Bringing Older People’s Perspectives on Consumer Socially Assistive Robots into Debates about the Future of Privacy Protection and AI Governance. AI & Society: Knowledge, Culture and Communication.  2024. 

    Ann Hill Duin & Isabel Pedersen. Augmentation Technologies and Artificial Intelligence in Technical Communication: Designing Ethical Futures. New York: Routledge, 2023.

    Isabel Pedersen, The Rise of Generative AI and Enculturating AI Writing in Postsecondary Education. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. Volume 6. 2023.

    Ann Hill Duin & Isabel Pedersen. Writing Futures: Collaborative, Algorithmic, Autonomous (2021, Springer).

    Isabel Pedersen & Andrew Iliadis, A. (Eds.) Embodied computing: Wearables, implantables, embeddables, ingestibles. Cambridge: MIT Press. April, 2020.

    Isabel Pedersen, Tom Everrett, and Sharon Caldwell (2020). The Wearable Past: Integrating a Physical Museum Collection of Wearables into a Database of Born-digital Artifacts Digital Studies / Le champ numérique. 10(1), 1-12.

    Isabel Pedersen & Ihor Junyk (2019). Fearmonger: Fear, film, digital embodiment, and cinematic futures. Parol - Quaderni d'arte e di eipistemologia, 30, 103-126.

    Andrew Iliadis & Isabel Pedersen (2018). The fabric of digital life: Uncovering sociotechnical tradeoffs in embodied computing through metadata. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 16(3), 311-327.

    Isabel Pedersen, Samantha Reid & Kristen Aspevig (2018). Developing social robots for aging populations: A literature review of recent academic sources. Sociology Compass, 12(6): e12585