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Tech Team

Coronavirus testing through your phone [The Wall Street Journal] 

Tech has been at the forefront with medical research to try and find tools to help fight, track and find a vaccine to COVID-19. Now, app developers are using AI and scientific research to develop a test to screen for COVID-19 symptoms: Coughvid is collecting data on people’s voices and coughs infected with the disease, so that an AI system can recognise it. Similar software is developed around the world listening in to people’s breathing and the effect the virus has on speech-patterns. There are quite a few critics calling it unreliable. It could be another tool in the toolbox as we are trying to get out of this lockdown. 

Is this the end of influencer culture? [Wired] 

COVID-19 has drastically changed how we work and live – but what do you do if how you live is your work? Instagram influencers are struggling to stay relevant without their flashy trips, foodie restaurant outings, and sponsored #ads. They’re also having to tread the same thin line as the rest of the world when it comes to tone around the crisis. Celebrities and influencers are getting backlash for easy access to testing, being able to run off to second homes in the Hamptons and “we’re all in this together” messages that ring tone-deaf. Now that millions of “normal” people are stuck at home around the world with time and Tik Tok on their hands – who’s to say that they won’t become the influencers themselves? 

Video games to the rescue [The Washington Post] 

Picture this: you’re a 15 year-old living in Montréal, and your school trip to Greece has just been moved to Assassin’s Creed. Disappointing, for sure – but kind of fun? The pandemic has catapulted digitilisation of the education sector from an ambition to an urgent need, and teachers are getting creative. Roaming the streets of ancient Athens to exploring the structure of the human eye, the video game world has risen to the challenge to show that education can be remote, but also useful and fun. To help education move online, Minecraft’s education mode has been made free until June 2020, while other dedicated platforms have intensified partnerships to deliver on time. It seems the lockdown has positive learnings (pun intended!) in store. 

Hello flying taxi [Digitaltrends] 

Science fiction is catching up with reality, as we have seen with the pandemic, but it can sometimes also be for the best. The list of companies racing to take commute to new heights grows annually. Flying cars are to be expected in this coming decade. Catching an uber in the sky could be made possible as soon a 2023. There are several flying cars on the way such as an Aston Martin Volante Vision or Porsche/Boeing taxi. Pretty amazing right? James Bond cars for all. Hopefully our skies won’t get too traffic jammed. We still need room to look up to the stars. 

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In case you haven’t had enough… 

We can do better: one plan to erase America’s digital divide (The New York Times) 

Thousands gathered Saturday for a music festival. Don’t worry: it was in Minecraft (The Washington Post) 

Unemployment checks are being held up by coding language almost nobody knows (The Verge) 

The virus revealed our essential tech (and weeded out the excess) (The New York Times)