InfraData - Infrastructuring Internet of Things for public governance

This research project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council, IKTPluss, and it is a collaboration between the Department of Informatics (UiO), the Department of Computer Science (NTNU) and the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (UiO).

Background

ICT artifacts referred to as Internet of Things (IoT) are enabling new forms of governance. However, we lack knowledge on how IoT actually takes part in processes of societal decision making, which data are made 'actionable', and to what extent they empower public organizations. This project will provide an understanding of how IoT arrangements transform processes of governance in the public sector.

Research Approach

The project will draw on an interdisciplinary approach from the fields of Information Systems, Science and Technology Studies and Computer Supported Collaborative Work engaging infrastructuring as main concept.

The research is guided by the following research question:

How is IoT transforming processes of governance in the public sector?

and more specifically:

1. How are environments being infrastructured?

2. How are algorithmic analyses performed?

3. How is IoT-generated reality used by decision makers in the public sector?

Empirical domains

Smart City - sensors embedded in urban environments generating data that are processed by algorithms and visualised in “city dashboards”.

Welfare Technologies - Data from welfare technologies (and other patient-generated data) in the homes connected to response centers/data hubs, use of dashboards, production and use of large data sets of patient data.

Environmental Monitoring - Distributed and interconnected sites composed of networks of experts, sensors, and devices for monitoring the environment, whose data are processed through algorithms and qualitative assessments.

Objectives

  • To advance the state of the art of the study of IoT and big data.
  • To provide the public organizations involved in the case studies with inputs on how to develop guidelines for more transparent IoT processes.
  • To expose the sociotechnical nature of IoT policy makers and to society at large.
  • To contribute to the societal debate on the risks and opportunities of forms of technocratic governance.