Socially Distanced Dispenser; JobSeekr; The Internet of Things on Future Jobs

Nguyen-Galante, Justin, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Powell, Harry, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Bloomfield, Aaron, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Ku, Tsai-Hsuan, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

In the STS thesis portion of the portfolio, the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the Future jobs is analyzed through the lens of Winner’s Theory. Literature related to the subject exists and is analyzed, but literature that examines IoT technologies through sociotechnical lenses are far and few between. Thus, this thesis aims to help fill that gap. Through Winner’s Theory, the STS thesis portion will discuss how IoT technologies serve as forms of life that change how workers interact with each other, reconfigure social and hierarchical relationships, and redefine how workers do their jobs and what it means to have a job in general. Non-obvious politics behind IoT technologies and a lack of care for ethical implications can have drastic effects on the sociotechnical success of said technologies. This will be seen and further discussed in a few case studies in the Data Analysis and Discussion sections.

In the technical portion of the portfolio, an example of an IoT enabled device, the Socially Distanced Dispenser, is synthesized and analyzed. Even in this relatively simplistic IoT device, the tenets of Winner’s Theory can be seen. The dispenser has the potential to slightly change how customers interact with workers and due to its requirement of a smartphone for operation, the dispenser also has the potential to effect/benefit certain social groups over others. That being said, the device has minimal impact in the grand scheme of society and thus the political implications are not as pronounced as in other technologies, but this technical project nonetheless connects to the STS analysis in that it shows that all IoT technologies, regardless of size or importance, have potential political and ethical consequences.

The second technical report, JobSeekr, is not related to the STS component of this portfolio.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Internet of Things, Future Jobs, Socially Distanced Dispenser, JobSeekr, COVID-19

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Technical Advisors: Aaron Bloomfield and Harry Powell
STS Advisor: Tsai-Hsuan Ku
Technical Team Members (Socially Distanced Dispenser): Jonathan Burkher, Quinicy Mendelson, Jake Moses, Justin Nguyen-Galante
Technical Team Members (JobSeekr): Jonathan Burkher, Matthew Burkher, Justin Nguyen-Galante

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