James Williams

 James Williams

James Williams is a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute. He studies the ethical design of persuasive technology.


James Williams is a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute and Director of the Oxford Data Experience Lab. His research addresses the philosophy and ethics of attention and persuasion as they relate to technology design.

Before coming to the OII, James worked at Google, where he received the Founder’s Award, the company’s highest honor.

James is also a Visiting Researcher at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, the founder of the OII's PhilTech seminar series, and a Teaching Assistant for the OII's Internet Technology and Regulation course. He is also a periodic commentator on technology issues in the media.

His other research interests include behavioral economics, the measurement of happiness/wellbeing, virtual and augmented reality, goal and task management systems, digital narrative, and gaming.

Apart from his research, James enjoys music, literature, and languages. A native of Texas, he also has a great affinity for the outdoors.

James holds an M.S. in Human-Centered Design and Engineering from the University of Washington and a B.A. in English Literature from Seattle Pacific University.

Research interests

philosophy, ethics, attention, persuasive technology, behavioral economics, games, task and goal management, virtual reality, augmented reality, literature, narrative, human-computer interaction, education, advertising, product design

Positions held at the OII

  • DPhil student, October 2011 -


Williams, J. (forthcoming) The Ethical Design of Persuasive Technology. DPhil Thesis, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.