Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) represent an essential aspect of all biological pathways and signaling mechanisms within a cell. They are often realized through compatible 3D structures where specific regions/domains of a given protein bind to a corresponding region of another. There is now a significant body of evidence from the studies by us and others indicating that a notable portion of PPIs are mediated via an alternative mode of binding. In the first part of this presentation, evidence is presented on how short co-occurring linear motifs mediate certain PPIs within a cell. In the second half of the talk, our ability to utilize AI technology and the alternative PPIs to design peptides that bind specifically to a protein target will be discussed. The advantage of the designed peptides includes their versatility (small size) and reduced time/cost of development among others. Notably these peptides are designed independent of detailed 3D structures of protein targets. Using the example of SARS-CoV-2, evidence will be presented on the utility of the designed peptides for both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.