With the stakes so high, we need to keep asking critical questions about how machines conceptualize and operationalize space. How do they render our world measurable, navigable, usable, conservable? We must also ask how those artificial intelligences, with their digital sensors and deep learning models, intersect with cartographic intelligences and subjectivities beyond the computational “Other.” I’m using “intelligence” broadly here, to encompass the various ways that knowing has been conceived across disciplines and cultures. There are a lot of other Others — including marginalized and indigenous populations and non-human environmental actors — who belong on the map, too, and not merely as cartographic subjects. They are active mapping agents with distinct spatial intelligences, and they have stakes in the environments we all share.

Shannon Mattern, Mapping’s Intelligent Agents