Damien Patrick Williams
EMAIL: Damien [Dot] Williams7 [AT] gmail.com
I have extensive experience in the fields of philosophy, technology, religious studies, journalism, and I am skilled in the use of a variety of pedagogical techniques in the service of public relations, education, and event planning. My graduate training specialized in the intersection of philosophy and the comparative study of religion, with a focus on occult theory and method. My expertise in the intersection of these fields with the ethical implications of technological advancements has led to my being interviewed for multiple podcasts and popular publications, and invited to speak at several international conferences. I am always seeking challenging environments where I will best be able to utilize and expand upon the many skills I have gained my academic and alt-ac careers.
—MSci in Science, Technology, and Society; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, 2018.
—MA in Philosophy and Religious Studies; Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, 2008.
—BA in Philosophy; Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia. 2005.
VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY; DOCTORAL RESEARCHER; AUGUST 2017—PRESENT
ENGINEERING CULTURES (ONLINE): Provided instruction and evaluation to students in an online and distance learning environment, in order to help students explore questions about the ways in which the conceptual notions of a engineering are constructed in different societies and time periods, around the world. Using thinkers and writers in the disciplines of STS and Engineering Education, we explored what it means to be an engineer in Great Britain, France, Germany, the Koreas, and the United States, highlighting key differences and thematic resonances throughout.
INTRO TO SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY STUDIES (SUPPLEMENTAL TA RECITATIONS): Provided once-weekly instruction to two sections of a six-section course via lecture, supplementing the larger group discussions, guiding question-formation exercises, and evaluation of homework and exams. Engaging the leaders in the field of STS over the past century, we explored contemporary issues and literature to gain a greater understanding of the ways in which science, technology, and society intertwine.
SRI INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY AND CONSCIOUSNESS WORKSHOP SERIES SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE ASSOCIATE, SUMMER 2017
DUTIES: Took 405 pages/160,656 words worth of notes and co-moderated eight weeks of panel discussions between attendees on topics of philosophy, technology, science, engineering, religious studies, and more. Compiled notes into appendices and summaries for interim reports and weekly introductions. Presented three high-level talks on the intersections of philosophy, technology, artificial intelligence, Daoism, sociology, religious studies, and public policy.
KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR, JANUARY 2012-2017; FULL-TIME INSTRUCTOR AUGUST 2015—MAY 2016
VALUES AND SOCIETY: Provided instruction and evaluation to help students come to explore and question the idea of justice as a foundational social value. Engaged discussions of John Rawls’ theory of justice as fairness; the ancient Greeks roots the concept of Justice; the libertarian positions of Robert Nozick; the feminist response of Susan Moller Okin; the intricacies of Confucian Ethics; and many others. Considered other fundamental social values such as equality, liberty, charity, community, harmony, and compassion, as well as engaging the questions of rights in the context of human augmentation, artificial intelligence, workplace automation, and robotics.
WAYS OF KNOWING: Provided instruction designed to bring students to a place where they could demonstrate a basic understanding of the major figures, themes, and movements from the history of philosophy; compare and contrast different examples both Western and non-Western philosophical schools and their cultural and historical contexts; identify and employ philosophical language, analysis, and argumentation via dialogue and expository compositions; critically examine their own social, cultural, and historical situations and their global cultural effects; research, critically formulate, and present evaluative appraisals of contemporary social and ethical issues; and be ethically sensitive to the role of cultural, social, and political diversity in human thought and action by exploring with and responding to others in open dialogue about human diversity.
WORLD RELIGIONS: Introduced students to the world’s major religions traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Examined each tradition’s historical origins, sacred texts, and cultural expressions. Considered such topics as cosmology, gods and goddess, myth and ritual, human nature, ethics, mysticism, death and the afterlife, and salvation. Considered the rise of “new religious movements” and the methodological problems involved in the study of “other” or “exotic” religions.
OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY, ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR, JUNE 2012-DECEMBER 2013
INTRODUCTION TO WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: Introduced students to a conceptual and historical overview of Western Philosophical traditions, from the ancient Greeks to the Contemporary. Evening degree, summer session format.
PHILOSOPHY 101- WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY: Introduced students to the practices and general themes of philosophical argumentation and an overview of the discipline, as a whole. Evening Degree Program Spring Semester Format.
GEORGIA PERIMETER COLLEGE FEBRUARY 2012- JUNE 2012
CRITICAL THINKING: Taught introductory philosophy to undergraduates, covering basic logic, logical fallacies, and scientific causation. Developed test materials, study guides, and held regular office hours in the service of supplemental instruction. One Semester, One Class (Spring 2012, Georgia Perimeter College)
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, GRADUATE TEACHER AND RESEARCH ASSISTANT, 2005-2008
CRITICAL THINKING: Taught introductory philosophy to undergraduates, covering basic logic, logical fallacies, and moral reasoning. Provided test materials, study guides, and held regular office hours in the service of supplemental instruction. Three Semesters, Five Classes (Summer 2006-Spring 2007, Georgia State University)
HORIZONS SCHOOL ATLANTA, STUDENT TEACHER, 1999-2000
CURRENT EVENTS/ENGLISH TUTORING/CRITICAL THINKING: As a senior in high school, provided assistance to classes of 5th,6th,and 7th grade students in reading and writing—both creative and non-fiction—as well as introducing them to the principles of critical thinking and philosophy.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
Ethics; Theory And Method in the Academic Study of Religion; Metaphysics; Epistemology; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy of Technology; Science and Technology Studies; Machine Ethics
AREAS OF COMPETENCY
Meta-ethics; Philosophy of Science; Race and Gender Studies
MASTER OF ART’S THESIS
ABSTRACT: The concept of magic is most often considered as a foil by scholars in the fields of philosophy and religious studies, or it is discussed as part of the investigation of “primitive” systems of belief and ritual. In this essay, magic is investigated as a system of inquiry and explanation unto itself, connected to but distinct from both philosophy and religious studies, and an argument is presented for understanding systems of magic as both natural and rational outgrowths of a particular perspective on reality.
—“Constructing Situated and Social Knowledge: Ethical, Sociological, and Phenomenological Factors in Technological Design,” appearing in Philosophy and Engineering: Reimagining Technology and Social Progress [Tentative Title], published by Springer (forthcoming 2019)
—“Better Than This,” appearing in Rendering Unconscious, published by Trapart (forthcoming 2019)
—“Daoism, Buddhism, and Machine Consciousness,” appearing in The Fenris Wolf, volume 10, published by Trapart (forthcoming 2019)
—“Consciousness and Conscious Machines: What’s At Stake?” appearing in Papers of the 2019 Towards Conscious AI Systems Symposium, co-located with the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence 2019 Spring Symposium Series (AAAI SSS-19), Stanford, CA, March 25-27, 2019. Edited by Antonio Chella, David Gamez, Patrick Lincoln, Riccardo Manzotti, Jonathan Pfautz.
—“Cultivating Technomoral Interrelations: A Review of Shannon Vallor’s Technology and the Virtues,” appearing in the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7, no. 2 (2018): 64-69.
—“Deleting the Human Clause: A Review of Ashley Shew’s Animal Constructions and Technological Knowledge,” appearing in the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7, no. 2 (2018): 42-44.
—“Stealing The Light to Write By,”appearing in Spirits of Place; John Reppion, editor; Daily Grail Publishing, Brisbane, Australia; 2016
—“Go Upgrade Yourself,” appearing in Futurama And Philosophy; Courtland D. Lewis and Shaun P. Young, editors; Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, USA; 2013
—“Breathing” appearing in The Immanence of Myth, James Curcio editor; Weaponized Publishers, UK; 2011
—”Explorations of Desire and Risk In the Relationship of Human and Machine Minds”; at the 2019 Computer Ethics—
—’“Any Sufficiently Advanced Neglect is Indistinguishable from Malice”: Assumptions and Bias in Algorithmic Systems;’ at the 21st Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology (Forthcoming)
—’Extended Selves: Implications of VR and AR on how We Understand Ourselves and Each Other’ at the 2019 Gender, Bodies, and Technology Conference (Forthcoming)
—‘Heavenly Bodies: Why Cyborgs Were Always About Disability and Mental Health;’ at the 2019 Gender, Bodies, and Technology Conference (Forthcoming)
—Lunchtime Talk on Social Construction of Knowledge, Technology, and Engineering;’ at Olin College of Engineering; April 2, 2019
—’Design Bias in AI & Algorithms;’ at The Movement Lab ATL’s Spring 2019 Tech Talks Series
—’Consciousness and Conscious Machines: What’s At Stake?;’ at the 2019 AAAI Spring Symposium on Towards Conscious AI Systems
—’SFF and Philosophy of Mind: Teaching Mind and Mindedness via Fictional Nonhuman Intelligences;’ at the Northeast Modern Language Association 50th Anniversary Convention in 2019; Topic Session: Speculative Fiction, Pedagogy, and Social Change
—’Constructing Situated and Social Knowledges; Ethical, Sociological, and Phenomenological Factors in Technological Design (Expanded);’ at the 2018 Southeastern Ethics and Philosophy of Technology workshop
—’Supernatural & Religious Elements in Military Sci-Fi;’ Dragon Con 2018, Military SciFi Track
—’Do Mecha Dream of Electric Sheep?’ with Johnathan Flowers; 2018 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—’The Struggle Over Mars: Speculating on the Colonial Future of the Milky Way in Syfy’s The Expanse’ with Johnathan Flowers and Daniel Amrhein; 2018 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—’Faith in Science Fiction;’ Dragon Con 2018, SciFiLit Track
—’Values and Interdisciplinarity in Technological Design;’ Invited presentation and discussion at the Human Futures and Intelligent Machines Summit, hosted by Dr. Sylvester Johnson at Virginia Tech’s Center for Humanities
—‘Constructing Situated and Social Knowledge: Ethical, Sociological, and Phenomenological Factors in Technological Design;’ at the 2018 Forum on Philosophy, Engineering and Technology
—Invited Panel | ‘Bot Phenomenology: What it means to exist with technology, and what it means to exist as technology;’ with Johnathan Flowers, Emma Stamm, and Robin Zebrowski; Theorizing the Web 2018; nathan jurgenson, Conference Chair
—‘Is the Technofix in? Research on the Ecological Impact of Solar Power in the Anthropocene;’ Topic Session: Climate Change and Governance: Risk, Expertise and Embedded Values; at STGlobal 2018
—‘Daoism, Buddhism, and Machine Consciousness;’ Topic Session: Digital Subjectivities; with Allie Briggs, Galen Olmstead, and Emma Stamm; at the 2018 ASPECT Graduate Conference at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
—‘Values, Experts, Algorithms, and Bias;’ Guest Lecture at the 2018 Tufts University Science, Technology, and Society Lunch Seminar Series
—‘The Minds of Others: Implications for Human and Nonhuman Persons;’ Topic Session: Philosophy of Technology; with Andrew Wells Garnar, Robert Rosenberger, Ashley Shew, and D.E. Wittkower; at the 2018 American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Conference; Session Chair: Ashley Shew
—‘Comics Studies Roundtable: The Interplay of Creation, Criticism, and Scholarship;’ with Daniel Amrhein, Matt Brown, Kelly Sue DeConnick, John Flowers, Matt Fraction, and Kari Neely; 2017 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘Translating Ghost in the Shell: Roundtable on the American Adaptation;’ with John Flowers and Amy-Elizabeth Manlapas; 2017 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘Roundatble on Diversity & Representation Star Trek;’ with John Flowers and Matt Brown; 2017 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘Science, Ethics, Epistemology, and Society: Gains for All via New Kinds of Minds;’ SRI Technology and Consciousness Workshop Series 2017
—‘A Discussion on Taoism and Machine Consciousness,’ SRI Technology and Consciousness Workshop Series 2017
—‘The Minds of Others: What Will Be Known by and Owed To Nonhuman Persons?’; SRI Technology and Consciousness Workshop Series 2017
—‘Technology, Disability, And Human Augmentation;’ Guest Lecture for Dr. Ariel Eisenberg’s Graduate Seminar, “American Identities: Disability,” in partnership with the Kennesaw State University Interdisciplinary Studies Department; 2017
—‘On the Moral, Legal, and Social Implications of the Rearing and Development of Nascent Machine Intelligences;’ IEEE Ethics 2016; Philip Chmielewski, Session Chair
—Invited Panel | “Under Its Spell: Magic, Machines, and Metaphors;” with Melissa Gira Grant, Karen Gregory, Debbie Chachra, and Ingrid Burrington; Anna Jobin, hashtag moderator; Theorizing the Web 2015; nathan jurgenson, Conference Chair
—‘The Quality of Life: The Implications of Augmented Personhood and Machine Intelligence in Science Fiction;’ The Work of Cognition and Neuroethics in Science Fiction 2015; Zea Miller, Conference Organizer
—‘Plug and Pray: Conceptualizing Digital Demigods and Electronic Angels;’ Magick Codes 2014; Ingrid Burrington, Conference Organizer
—‘Dream Logic And Murder Wizardry;’ with Cleolinda Jones; 2014 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘Stargate as Stories, Myths, and Personal Identity;’ with Richard Scott Nokes; 2014 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘How to Become a Comics Scholar;’ with Matthew J. Brown and Cary Gillenwater; 2013 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘How to Become a Science Fiction Scholar;’ with Vickie Willis; 2013 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘In the In-Between: An Examination of Magic, Perception, and Interstitiality in the Works of China Miéville;’ 2012 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point: The Implications of Autonomous Created Intelligence in Speculative Fiction Media;’ The Machine Question Symposium: AI, Ethics, and Moral Responsibility; David Gunkel and Joanna Bryson, symposium coordinators; July 2012
—‘Strange Things Happen at the One Two Point: The Implications of Cybernetics & Human Enhancement in SF Media;’ 2011 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘Becoming Our Selves: Jungian Self-Actualisation in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse;’ 2010 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘Western Esotericism in the Modern Popular Mind;’ 2009 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—‘Seeing the Light: Ethical Egoism in Mike Carey’s Lucifer;’ 2008 Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conference; Matt Brown, Conference Co-Ordinator
—Eveleth, Rose. “In the Face of Danger, We’re Turning to Surveillance,” Wired, March 21, 2019. https://www.wired.com/story/surveillance-safety/.
—“Businesses need to understand AI before putting it to work,” Wired UK, November 30, 2018. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/ai-and-the-future-of-business-decision-making.
—Yong, Ed. “The Tipping Point When Minority Views Take Over.” The Atlantic, June 7, 2018 https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/06/the-tipping-point-when-minority-views-take-over/562307/.
—Hopkins, Curt. “4 obstacles to ethical AI (and how to address them)” https://www.hpe.com/us/en/insights/articles/4-obstacles-to-ethical-ai-and-how-to-address-them-1807.html.
—Orphanides, K.G. “What should you do when Google gets into bed with the US military?” Wired UK, May 4, 2018. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-microsoft-amazon-us-military-ai-conflict.
—Newitz, Annalee. “Robots need civil rights, too,” The Boston Globe, September 08, 2017. https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2017/09/08/robots-need-civil-rights-too/igtQCcXhB96009et5C6tXP/story.html.
—Yong, Ed. “Why Online Allies Matter in Fighting Harassment.” The Atlantic, November 15, 2016. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/11/why-online-allies-matter-in-fighting-harassment/507722/.
—Finley, Klint. “Tech Giants Team Up to Keep AI From Getting Out of Hand.” Wired, September 28, 2016. https://www.wired.com/2016/09/google-facebook-microsoft-tackle-ethics-ai/.
—“Peek Into the Weird and Wonderful Age of AI (Yes, There’s a Chatbot).” Wired Staff, interviewed by Klint Finley). Wired, May 17, 2016. https://www.wired.com/2016/05/what-is-ai-artificial-intelligence/.
—Cowart, Leigh. “Ichiro’s Paradox.” The Classical, February 3, 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20180707135117/theclassical.org/articles/ichiros-paradox.
PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS HELD
—Programming Committee (Various Positions) 2010—2018; Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conferences in Atlanta, Ga. Coordinated programs, reviewed submissions, organized guest dinner meetings, coordinated and networked with faculty at Atlanta Universities , distributed Calls For Papers, and advertised the final draft of the conference program.
Project: Neil Gaiman Signs: The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Gaiman On My Mind (See Testimonials, Below)
—Periodical Writer for The Breaking Time, focusing on peri-apocalyptic socio-political happenings, often engaged through the lens of popular culture.
—Staff Writer for NeedCoffee.com, focusing on the theory and philosophy behind pop-culture.
—Dr. Jonathan Herman, Zen and Shinto, World Religions (Georgia State University);
Treasury Duties for the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions: Graded papers, homework, and in-class assignments, took attendance, proctored tests, processed tests, provided supplemental instruction and study assistance to students, lead class discussion, and provided perspective on the progress and development of students. Balanced the dues and fees books of the Society for the Study of Chinese Religion by marking and processing checks, keeping track of returning members, entering in new members, and makiMaryCatherine McDonaldng sure that the ledger was up to date. (Spring 2008)
—Dr. Timothy Renick, General Research Duties: Used the GSU library database (GIL), EBSCOhost, and other databases to assist Dr Renick in the course of his research by obtaining articles, devising and utilizing search strings, and compiling results into relevant categories. (Fall 2007, Georgia State University)
—Dr. Matthew Condon, Perspectives: Religion and Politics of the Contemporary Middle East: Graded papers, homework, and in-class assignments, took attendance, proctored tests, processed tests, provided supplemental instruction and study assistance to students, and provided perspective on the progress and development of students. (Summer 2007, Georgia state University)
—Dr. Andrea Scarantino: Co-organized the Spring 2006 Conference for the International Society for Research on Emotions. Contacted and secured vendors, publishers, guests, hotels, and distributors for the purpose of developing the conference.
—Dr. Eddy Nahmias, Philosophical Thinking: Graded papers and homework, proctored tests, provided supplemental instruction and study assistance to students. (Fall 2005, Georgia State University)
—Graduate Student Organization Representative to the Department of Science, Technology, and Society Policy Committee; Virginia Tech; 2017—2019
—Manuscript Reviewer for Cognitive Systems Research; 2019
—Manuscript Reviewer for Science, Technology, & Human Values; 2018
—Manuscript Reviewer for SPECTRA: the Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Theory Archives; 2018
—Manuscript Reviewer for Philosophy and Technology; 2016, 2018
—Programming Committee (Various Positions) 2010—2019; Comics and Popular Arts Academic Conferences in Atlanta, Ga. Coordinated programs, reviewed submissions, organized guest dinner meetings, coordinated and networked with faculty at Atlanta Universities , distributed Calls For Papers, and advertised the final draft of the conference program.
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS
HONOURS AND AWARDS
—Proficient in all components of the Microsoft Office Suite; Open Office Variants. Experienced with Ubuntu Linux, as well as Windows XP through 10.
—Fluent in Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
TESTIMONIALS FROM CLIENTS ON THE QUALITY OF DAMIEN WILLIAMS’ WORK
Last Updated April 18, 2019