James Williams is a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute. He studies the ethics of attention and persuasion in technology design.

email: james.williams@oii.ox.ac.uk

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

He is also a co-founder of the ‘Time Well Spent’ campaign (http://timewellspent.io), a project that aims to steer technology design toward having greater respect for users’ attention, goals, and values.

Previously, James worked for over ten years at Google, where he received the Founder’s Award, the company’s highest honor. He is also a frequent speaker, consultant for companies and governments, and commentator on technology issues in the media.

James is also a visiting researcher at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, the founder of the OII’s PhilTech seminar series, and Teaching Assistant for the OII’s Internet Technology and Regulation course.

His other interests include virtual/mixed reality systems, gaming, space travel, and the work of James Joyce. His first computer was a TI-99/4A.

James holds a 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 –

Supervisors at the OII


Latest blog posts

  • Orwell, Huxley, Banksy

    Date Published: 24 May 2014 - 12:00 am

    Authors: James Williams

    Last month two new Banksy installations emerged, and they have something important to say about what we choose to fear in the age of the [...]

  • Staying free in a world of persuasive technologies

    Date Published: 29 July 2013 - 10:11 am

    Authors: James Williams

    Technologies are increasingly being designed to change the way we think and behave. While there has been excitement recently about designing information environments to [...]

Current projects

Past projects

  • Orwell, Huxley, Banksy

    24 May 2014

    Authors: James Williams

    Last month two new Banksy installations emerged, and they have something important to say about what we choose to fear in the age of the [...]

  • Staying free in a world of persuasive technologies

    29 July 2013

    Authors: James Williams

    Technologies are increasingly being designed to change the way we think and behave. While there has been excitement recently about designing information environments to [...]