Isabel Pedersen

Isabel Pedersen
Ontario Tech University | UOIT · Social Science and Humanitites

Doctor of Philosophy

About

80
Publications
17,410
Reads
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460
Citations
Citations since 2016
52 Research Items
366 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080
Introduction
Isabel Pedersen is the Director of the Digital Life Institute. Research spans the social, political, cultural and ethical implications of embodied technologies, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality. She is a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Computer Science at Ontario Tech University.
Additional affiliations
July 2020 - present
Ontario Tech University
Position
  • Professor
September 2012 - July 2020
Ontario Tech University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2009 - August 2012
Ryerson University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
Teaching writing involves helping students develop as critical communicators who use writing to question often-unseen systems of power enabled by infrastructures, including digital spaces and technologies. This article uses Walton, Moore, and Jones' (2019) 3Ps Framework---positionality, privilege, and power---to explore how, through assignments we...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This exploratory study identifies the tangling of proposed relationships between human and non-human agents by providing an analysis on how AI technologies are marketed for learning subjects through a critical discourse analysis of corporate advertisements. We ask: Amid these emerging technologies, how are humans and AI technologies framed as agent...
Chapter
This exploratory study examines instructor discussion, instructional development, and study of student building of digital literacy as a result of the use and/or curation of Fabric of Digital Life (https://fabricofdigitallife.com/) collections on emerging technologies. Over three phases (January 2019 through May 2020), instructors and students acro...
Preprint
[Preprint: Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences | 2022] This exploratory study identifies the tangling of proposed relationships between human and non-human agents by providing an analysis on how AI technologies are marketed for learning subjects through a critical discourse analysis of corporate advertisements...
Conference Paper
This short paper provides a means to classify augmentation technologies to reconceptualize them as socio-technical, discursive and rhetorical phenomena, rather than only through technological classifications. It identifies a set of value systems that constitute augmentation technologies within discourses, namely, the intent to enhance, automate, an...
Conference Paper
We coexist with non-human AI agents, and we now must plan for human and non-human-agent teaming, for cooperation and collaboration, as a means to expand collaborative intelligence in our ongoing quest for user advocacy. For practice and experimentation, we provide links to current non-human agents. We then distinguish automation and autonomy, and d...
Article
Full-text available
Machines produce and operate using complex systems of metadata that need to be catalogued, sorted, and processed. Many students lack the experience with metadata and sufficient knowledge about it to understand it as part of their data literacy skills. This paper describes an educational and interactive database activity designed for teaching underg...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Translators and technical communicators must be prepared to use immersive technologies as they work. Visualization has been shown to help translators improve their performance as it provides a more concrete understanding of topic and content (Kußmaul, 2005). In addition, use of augmented and/or virtual reality (AR, VR) has been shown to help techni...
Chapter
This chapter begins with imagining the future through Musk’s (2020) argument for telepathy, noting the need to be aware of dramatic shifts in technological futures. We include detail on the Fabric collection—Writing Futures: Collaborative, Algorithmic, Autonomous—noting the emergence of artifacts involving humanoid robots. Our hope is that readers...
Chapter
One of the greatest challenges facing professional and technical communication (PTC) scholars and instructors is a reticence to prepare for writing futures in advance of major technological transformations. This chapter posits Writing Futures as an organizing concept that places writing and technological evolution amidst the most complex, multiface...
Chapter
In this chapter (see Table 4.1), we provide a brief history of virtual assistants, emerging as technocultural entities eventually to serve a role in writing and work practices. We illustrate how automation changes writing collaboration between humans and nonhuman agents, leading to “superteams” (Deloitte) and the seamless integration of AI and othe...
Chapter
In this chapter, we discuss algorithmic writing futures with specific focus on analytics and artificial intelligence (see Table 3.1). We examine the impact on writing futures in terms of algorithmic control and algorithmic culture and how our teaching, writing, cognition, and behavior is being steered by learning management systems. We emphasize th...
Chapter
In the Writing Futures framework, we emphasize the need to embrace writing as the dialogic, socio-technological construction of knowledge as one works with human and nonhuman agents. In this chapter, we provide an overview of scholarship on collaboration and then expand these notions to include writing alongside nonhuman agents. We guide readers in...
Book
This book is useful to understand and write alongside non-human agents, examine the impact of algorithms and AI on writing, and accommodate relationships with autonomous agents. This ground-breaking future-driven framework prepares scholars and practitioners to investigate and plan for the social, digital literacy, and civic implications arising fr...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines student perception of digital literacy from their engagement with the Fabric of Digital Life, a digital archive of emerging technologies. Through grounded theory analysis we identified the ways students make sense of an unfamiliar technology. Our results show students assign metaphors to understand a new digital platform, apply...
Chapter
We contend that collaboration is an imperative disciplinary as- sumption in technical and professional communication (TPC). Theorists, researchers, and practitioners grapple with ever-changing modes and models for collaborative work in academia, industry, and with communities. Tech- nical and professional communicators today must be prepared to col...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the collaborative process involved in the novel creation of The Wearable Past: a collection of physical museum artifacts, presently on display at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, digitally re-presented in the context of the Fabric of Digital Life (or Fabric), a database of born-digital objects run by the Deci...
Presentation
Will bodies become computer platforms? Disruptive embodied computing technology is being proposed and it will change how people live in vastly different ways in our evolving post-internet society. The idea of a thoroughly quantified, remotely monitored networked body is propelling discussions of personal privacy, human agency, creativity, consent,...
Chapter
This chapter is about how bodies are imposed upon to become platforms across a series of technologies that are increasingly interdependent. This chapter’s focal point is the concept of body networks, and it brings critical attention to the mounting expectation that personal computing is going to achieve much more direct, bodily integration with aut...
Book
Edited by Isabel Pedersen and Andrew Iliadis, Chapter Authors: Roba Abbas, Andrew Iliadis, Gary Genosko, Suneel Jethani, Deborah Lupton, Katina Michael, M. G. Michael, Marcel O'Gorman, Maggie Orth, Isabel Pedersen, Christine Perakslis, Kevin Warwick, Elizabeth Wissinger. Summary: Practitioners and scholars explore ethical, social, and conceptual...
Article
Full-text available
Journal: Parol - Quaderni d’Arte e di Epistemologia This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about the contemporary technological moment and potential cinematic futures. We do so by presenting Fearmonger, a new media arts project that probes moving image culture through an embodied digital experience that, in one sense, victimizes a film viewer...
Presentation
MixtuRe: Digital Art and Compositional Realities is a symposium exploring the intersections of new media theory with artistic and curatorial practices as means to expand, redefine, and undermine existing disciplinary categorization. Panels will explore new media art as a means to reflect on everyday realities in the digital age.
Chapter
Augmented reality integrates digital information with a person’s environment in real time. Given its expanded use in personal and professional contexts, content strategists must pay attention to content design for augmented reality. Building on prior work from early mixed and augmented reality technical researchers, we share results from our discou...
Presentation
We make tools. It defines us. But since the first proto-human tied a stick to a stone, tools have also been making us. Join our panel of philosophers, anthropologists, and futurists as we examine our journey from the stone age to the computer age—seeking clues about who we are, and what we are becoming. Our smartphones have become veritable appenda...
Article
Immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality(VR), incorporate more sensory elements than ever before. Technical communication has reached its next threshold for change.This new landscape requires technical communicators to move outside the realm of writing to acquire understanding of various disciplines that help with c...
Conference Paper
Global multinational corporations are wielding political influence over global populations due to their development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence AI, in multiple ways. Can governments maintain standards for political engagement and democratic systems?
Preprint
Abstract: This paper examines how humanoid robots are represented across three media discourses – robot inventors’ communications, science fiction, and journalism – to reveal how human-robot interaction is popularized for the public. There is a commonly held belief that humanoid robots will play a significant role in our future social lives. This v...
Conference Paper
The future of content strategy is currently being developed in augmented reality environments, where little to no heuristics have been developed and few strategies have been imagined beyond basic design principles. This article explores content strategy in terms of augmented reality and why it is important to create heuristics now for future work i...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This paper aims to examine how metadata taxonomies in embodied computing databases indicate context (e.g. a marketing context or an ethical context) and describe ways to track the evolution of the embodied computing industry over time through digital media archiving. Design/methodology/approach The authors compare the metadata taxonomies o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our devices are changing the way we think of ourselves as selves. We produce, share, and publicize our very personal data on a daily basis. Algorithms are personal-they make decisions for us, filter what we read, inform what we buy (or think of buying), map our whereabouts, and remember faces of people we know. Increasingly, thoughts, desires, memo...
Preprint
Full-text available
The paper examines how metadata taxonomies in embodied computing databases indicate their orientation (e.g. indicating a marketing focus vs. a focus on ethical and social impact) and describes ways to track the evolution of the embodied computing industry over time through digital media archiving. Design/methodology/approach – We compare the metada...
Method
Full-text available
Fabric of Digital Life www.fabricofdigitallife.com is a research archive and database created by members of Decimal at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada for the purpose of studying digital culture and and embodied computing emergence.
Data
"Antoine" (From Antoine, dir. Laura Bari. Photograph by François Boucher. Montreal: EyeSteelFilm, 2008. © Copyright and used by permission of the director.)
Article
Full-text available
The perception of aging populations is a major factor driving the social robot development movement. A growing body of research reflects the expanding interest in social robots. This paper synthesizes research on the development of social robots with a literature review of academic articles with publication dates ranging from 2006 to 2017. The revi...
Article
Full-text available
Children are not only born digital, they are socialised as Internet consumers ready to participate in digital services targeted to them as they age such as Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube. But they are also fashioned as producers, whereby their lives are sold as content on these same markets. As commodities, the minutiae of their lives become the...
Conference Paper
How do we make our lives count for something amid a world that seems to care more about quantity than quality? When algorithmic decisions are conducted for us by artificial intelligence accessing our lives, how do we as citizens assert our values when it comes to things like creativity, imagination, and identity? Socio-ethical considerations need t...
Article
Full-text available
DHQ Digital Humanities Quarterly: This paper discusses a digital humanities collection called "Contemporary Telepathics" housed within a larger archive, The Fabric of Digital Life. We argue that through a variety of multimedia representations, the rhetoric of contemporary telepathic devices invokes sublime predictive visions that become instantiate...
Conference Paper
Research on wearables, quantified self, and the self-tracking movement has grown in recent years (Nafus, 2016; Neff and Nafus, 2016; Pedersen, 2013; Young, 2012), leading to novel insights about our intimate relationships with emerging forms of tactile, embodied computing. Researchers have discovered valuable applications for wearables in diverse d...
Article
Full-text available
Cultural heritage artifacts connect us to past generations and provide links to previous worlds that are beyond our reach. We developed TombSeer, an augmented reality application that aims to immerse the wearer in a museum space engaging two senses (seeing and gesturing) through a holographic heads-up interface that brings virtual, historical artif...
Article
Full-text available
Arecent trend in blockbuster science fiction film is the depiction of characters wearing exoskeletons that enable them to perform superhuman feats. Exoskeletons have proven a popular mainstay of the genre over the past decade through franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with recurring characters such as Iron Man (Figure 1). However, th...
Chapter
The first appearance of Glass was on Sergey Brin who wore it to an April 5, 2012 public event in San Francisco. Provocative headlines emerged such as “Google ‘Project Glass’ Replaces the Smartphone with Glasses” (Albanesius) and “Google X Labs: First Project Glass, next space elevators?” (LaMonica). We argue that Glass’s birth signifies not only a...
Article
Full-text available
The desire to create a sentient Artificial Intelligence (AI) as complex as a human intelligence, or one that even surpasses it, a superintelligence, is raging. The Economist recently reported “Firms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Baidu have got into an AI arms race, poaching researchers, setting up laboratories and buying start-ups” [1]. On o...
Article
Full-text available
This article argues that Elysium communicates a ‘critical dystopia’ that illuminates and interrogates global capitalism’s worst social, political, ecological and technological conditions and shows them being resisted and changed, for the better. To this end, our article’s first section contextualizes Elysium by building upon recent studies of globa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A collaboration between members of the Digital Culture and Media Lab (Decimal Lab) in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, and the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) has spawned the early stages of the Kids, Creative Storyworlds, and Wearables research project. At the core of this project is th...
Conference Paper
TombSeer immerses the wearer in a museum space engaging two senses (sight and touch) through a holographic, augmented reality, heads-up interface that brings virtual, historical artifacts "back to life" through gestural interactivity. The purpose of TombSeer is to introduce more embodied interaction to museum visits using an emerging hardware platf...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores and critiques mainstream speculative news surrounding personal technologies. We focus on news concerning bionic contact lenses, a hardware invention prototype by Google Inc promoted as a ‘future’ personal computing device. Technology is increasingly normalized and configured as inevitable through representations across consume...
Article
Full-text available
http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/1018
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years, new wearable platforms and peripherals requiring unique modes of interaction have been emerging in record numbers. Watches, necklaces, glasses, even pants [1] are beginning to incorporate technology. Wearable devices also offer many new ways for users to interact; therefore, more research is needed to evaluate these novel methods o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The key contributions for this design paper are to showcase a working prototype of iMind that utilizes viewers' brainwave activity to personalize an aesthetic experience with the digitized art of Paul Klee. Digital humanities and arts methodologies were deliberately employed to conduct this design. iMind aims to broaden the exploratory outlook and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the initial development of a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) entertainment application called iMind that aims to expand the creative potential for this emergent medium. We detail the development stages of two iMind working prototypes and discuss issues regarding these interfaces in cultural and creative media experiences. The iM...
Article
Full-text available
International film festivals are privileged sites for cultural exchange and creative incubation to which blind persons are effectively excluded, a barrier that needs addressing. By recognizing barriers to film festivals, we instigate a solution to making film culture more accessible to blind persons. Using the film Blindsight as an exemplar along w...
Article
Full-text available
In the spring of 2012, Google unveiled ‘Project Glass' with the promise to deliver an augmented reality head-mounted display device to the masses. Its YouTube video ‘One Day…', viewed more than 20 million times, promotes a utopian vision of what life will be like once this prototype becomes available to everyone. Using a critical humanities approac...
Article
On the basis of interview data with a video game designer, this author team explores the nuances of stories and story worlds in video games as complex multimodal, compositional processes that can be harnessed to our understandings about contemporary literacy learning. How we enter, exit, mediate and transmediate stories across media channels has be...
Chapter
Full-text available
The implications of this case study of a brain-computer game illustrate shifting epistemic and cognitive frameworks enacted by young children. Such technologies underscore the urgency to harness the rhetorical, discursive, and multimodal potential of such immersive worlds. From the first researcher it became clear that The Force Trainer employs neu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the process for establishing the “Fabric of Digital Life” archive, which is dedicated to the study of wearable media and augmented reality inventions. Fabric of Digital Life features the development of an open repository online research archive using CollectiveAccess software that tracks, catalogues, and in some cases, stores a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Future, wearable, digital devices are constantly emerging and celebrated in the mainstream news media. We are gradually embracing the idea that our future digital life will involve watch computers, heads-up displays, brain-computer interfaces, body sensors, and digital tattoos, to name a few examples. In keeping with the Google Glass phenomenon, th...
Conference Paper
The emergence of Google Glass, a prototype for a transparent Heads-Up Display available for the everyday consumer, is the first public conceptualization of a mainstream augmented-reality wearable eye display. Google's promotional material frames Glass as the brainchild of company co-founder Sergey Brin, who, by being associated with a state-of-the-...
Book
Full-text available
Origin stories for wearable computers stress motives, beliefs, assumptions transgressions, and goals amid the technological and economic conditions that alter them. One facet of this book is to challenge rhetorical motives embedded in technical terms, like augmented reality, and make salient their social and political assumptions as well as the kin...
Article
Full-text available
The Iron Man media franchise glorifies futuristic interfaces and devices like holographic screens, powerful mobile devices, and heads-up displays. Consequently, a mainstream audience has come to know about and discursively relate to Augmented Reality (AR) technology through fan participation. This paper identifies how Iron Man fans reveal the belie...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on described video (DV), which makes television accessible to persons who are blind or who have low vision by providing voice-over descriptions of shows. The article highlights the lack of DV content in Canada and outlines the factors inhibiting more DV production, including policy, the commercial and organizational structure o...
Article
Full-text available
Antoine, an independent film by Canadian Laura Bari, gives voice to a blind, five-year-old boy, Antoine Houang, who narrates his life with stories, memories, and imaginative compositions. We argue that because of its basis in collaboration, Antoine extends the genre of autobiographical documentary. It is an autobiography by Houang, but it is also a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
People understand themselves as centers. Using a humanities approach, this paper proposes a conceptual model that promotes human-centricity for AR experiences. It uses David Burrows' phenomenology of sound and human thought as a reflective model. He argues that humans act according to a center-periphery scheme that is projected in three fields of a...
Article
Odd Job Jack is a Canadian-made animated TV comedy (Smiley Guy Studios). Like other shows in the style of South Park, Family Guy, and The Simpsons, Odd Job Jack makes use of off-colour themes, black humour, and sexual innuendo, for both entertaining and political ends. It also makes heavy use of the trope of irony, which involves saying one thing a...
Article
Full-text available
: Participation with new mobile devices drives new social practices. This article engages in a close analysis of a so-called participatory culture surrounding iPods and iPhones. It offers close rhetorical readings of object phenomena including advertisements, Canadian news stories, and consumer reactions in electronic media. More specifically, this...
Article
Full-text available
Microsoft gadget records your life. (CNN.com 2004)Your cinematic deathbed flashback will already be uploaded to your hard drive. (Scheeres 2002)
Chapter
Wearable computers ("wearables") are computers that people attach to their bodies in order to augment their personal experiences. People wear computers for many reasons. Mobility is the most obvious benefit. Scuba divers wear them in order to measure and record information while swimming underwater. Soldiers use them in urban war zones, where stand...
Article
Abstract: After the Y2K bug frenzy, apocalyptic murmurings, and revelation rhetoric smoke have cleared surrounding the new Millennium, it becomes more and more obvious that some significant rhetorical transformations took place in response to the notion of existing in a new millennium. The coming of the year 2000 caused a great deal of angst; comme...
Article
Full-text available
Wearable Computers create a personal augmented reality for people who wear them. Unlike virtual reality, wearable augmented reality could potentially alter mobility, interactivity, and beingness (existence) in the actual world. As wearable computers emerge as a medium of communication, several designers like Steve Mann, discuss their physical and p...
Article
Full-text available
Wearable Computers create a personal augmented reality for people who wear them. Unlike virtual reality, wearable augmented reality could potentially alter mobility, interactivity, and beingness (existence) in the actual world. As wearable computers emerge as a medium of communication, several designers like Steve Mann, discuss their physical and p...
Article
Full-text available
The present paper examines the current trend by advertisers who construct ambiguity within advertisements to gain a double profit with consumers. As advertisers pre-empt their critics by acknowledging and even foregrounding the political incorrectness of their own industries, they also subversively promote the same damaging messages that were alway...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
This project addresses AI ethics in light of recent technological advancements, global governance models, advocacy groups, journalism, culture and events. It involves ethically-aligned design for AI.
Project
Understand how companion robots change digital life and culture.