The power of quantum information lies in its capacity to be non-local, encoded in correlations among two, three, or many entangled particles. Yet our ability to produce, understand, and exploit such correlations is hampered by the fact that the interactions between particles and ordinarily local. I will report on experiments in which we use light to induce non-local interactions among cold atoms, with photons acting as messengers conveying information between them. Advances in programming the form and graph of interactions with optical and magnetic fields are opening new opportunities in areas ranging from quantum technologies to fundamental physics. I will touch on prospects in quantum-enhanced sensing, combinatorial optimization, and simulating toy models of quantum gravity.