James Williams is a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute. He studies the ethical design of persuasive technology.
His research explores the complex boundary between persuasive power and human freedom in environments of high technological persuasion. Specifically, he aims to a) empirically understand the moral and ethical intuitions users have about particular methods of persuasion, and b) develop processes for integrating those perspectives into the design of persuasive technology.
James comes to the OII from Google, where he most recently worked as Global Search Lead. He received the Founders' Award, the company’s highest honor, for his efforts to help improve search advertising tools and systems.
His other research interests include the philosophy of technology, augmented reality systems, goal and task management, 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.
advertising, games, task and goal management, augmented reality, literature, narrative, philosophy, human-computer interaction, education
Positions held at the OII
- DPhil student, October 2011 - April 2015
Thesis title to be confirmed.
Professor of Internet Studies
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 1 Oct 2013 08:09AM
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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 [...]
Policy and Internet Blog on 11 Jun 2013 17:06PM
The Internet is argued to enable democratisation of information production, but we know remarkably little about contemporary geographies of knowledge, and how these information landscapes are changing over time -- including who is or isn't represented. [...]