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Digital tech and the pandemic is the theme of our 2021 technology of the year. Here, in a series of articles, we highlight the use of digital technology during the coronavirus pandemic and explore the impact the pandemic could have on the relationship between technology and society.
The potential of digital contact tracing to slow the spread of a virus had been quietly explored for over a decade before the COVID-19 pandemic thrust the technology into the spotlight. But can it actually be effective in the hard-to-model complexity of real-world social networks?
The coronavirus pandemic has forced students and educators across all levels of education to rapidly adapt to online learning. The impact of this — and the developments required to make it work — could permanently change how education is delivered.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an infodemic of misleading and unreliable information. In response, social media platforms have taken unprecedented steps to moderate content and promote official sources of information, which, combined with new policies and appropriate communication, could help tackle misinformation.
The increasingly prominent — and inescapable — role of digital technologies during the coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by concerning trends in privacy and digital ethics. But more robust protection of our rights in the digital realm is possible in the future.