James Williams is the winner of the inaugural US$100,000 Nine Dots Prize (2017). As well as the prize money, Williams has been awarded a book deal with Cambridge University Press for a book in which he will develop his ideas on this topic. He will be supported by the editorial team at Cambridge University Press and will spend a term at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge.
Born in Cape Canaveral, Florida and raised in Texas, Williams is currently a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute and Balliol College, Oxford, where he researches the philosophy and ethics of attention and persuasion as they relate to technology design. He is also a member of the Digital Ethics Lab at Oxford and a visiting researcher at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. Prior to that he worked for over ten years at Google, where he received the Founders’ Award – the company’s highest honour – for his work on advertising products and tools. He is also a co-founder of the Time Well Spent campaign, a project that aims to steer technology design towards having greater respect for users’ attention. He holds a master’s in design engineering from the University of Washington and as an undergraduate studied literature at Seattle Pacific University.