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.
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 - April 2015
Williams, J. (forthcoming) The Ethical Design of Persuasive Technology. DPhil Thesis, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
Director of Research and Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information
15 March 2012 The Atlantic
OII Doctoral candidate James Williams informed an article on the implications of the use of large-scale data charting human behaviour garnered by users of persuasive technologies. It claims that advertisers seek to alter user behaviours.
Policy and Internet Blog on 29 Jul 2013 10:11AM
Technologies are increasingly being designed to change the way we think and behave. While there has been excitement recently about designing information environments to 'nudge' us into beneficial behaviours, are we giving enough attention to their [...]