James Williams is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He leads the Programme on Advanced Technology Ethics and is currently focused on questions of technological influence—such as persuasive technology, manipulation, and distraction—and their implications for human autonomy and wellbeing.
James received his DPhil from Oxford (Oxford Internet Institute & Balliol College) in 2018. Before that, he worked for over ten years at Google, where he received the Founders’ Award, the company’s highest honour. In 2017 he was awarded the inaugural Nine Dots Prize for innovative thinking, leading to the publication of his first book, Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy, by Cambridge University Press. In 2019 the president of Princeton University chose the book as the one ‘pre-read’ text all incoming students are assigned to read before beginning their studies.
James has also been a research associate at the Digital Ethics Lab at the Oxford Internet Institute, a co-founder of the Time Well Spent campaign, a tutor in the Oxford Computer Science department, and a visiting fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, & Humanities, University of Cambridge.