Apryl Williams is a jointly appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication & Media and the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan. She is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow in Trustworthy AI at the Mozilla Foundation, as well as an affiliated researcher at NYU's Center for Critical Race & Digital Studies. As a multidisciplinary scholar, Williams studies experiences of gender and race at the intersection of digital spaces and algorithmic technocultures.
In her forthcoming book, Not My Type: Automating Sexual Racism in Online Dating, Apryl Williams presents a socio-technical exploration of dating platforms' algorithms, their lack of transparency, the legal and ethical discourse in these companies' community guidelines, and accounts from individual users in order to argue that sexual racism is a central feature of today's online dating culture. She discusses this reality in the context of facial recognition and sorting software as well as user experiences, drawing parallels to the long history of eugenics and banned interracial partnerships. Ultimately, Williams calls for, both a reconceptualization of the technology and policies that govern dating agencies, and also a reexamination of sociocultural beliefs about attraction, beauty, and desirability.
Williams' previous work has been published in leading interdisciplinary journals including Social Media + Society, Information, Communication & Society, the International Journal of Communication, and the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. Her research has also been covered in popular press outlets including Time Magazine, Mic.com, Newsweek, Slate, BuzzfeedNews, NPR’s On the Media, and The Guardian.