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The 2021 Good Tech Awards


In the tech industry, 2021 was a year of profits and pivots.Thanks in part to the pandemic and the digitization of our lives, all of the big tech companies got bigger. Facebook changed its name to Meta, Jeff Bezos went to space, Jack Dorsey left Twitter and Silicon Valley fell harder for crypto.Every December, partly to cheer myself up after a year of covering tech’s scandals and shortfalls, I use this column to lift up a handful of tech projects that improved the world during the year. My criteria are somewhat loose and arbitrary, but I look for the kinds of worthy, altruistic projects that apply technology to big, societal problems, and that don’t get much attention from the tech press, like start-ups that are using artificial intelligence to fight wildfires, or food-delivery programs for the needy.Especially at a time when many of tech’s leaders seem more interested in building new, virtual worlds than improving the world we live in, it’s worth praising the technologists who are stepping up to solve some of our biggest problems.So here, without further ado, are this year’s Good Tech Awards.To DeepMind, for …

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