In selecting the contributions to this special issue, the editors have tried to plot a course that describes the state of the AI field for both the reader unacquainted with AI and for those who are. We have done this by selecting key research papers in the areas of AI that are impacting and will continue to impact libraries and by including sidebars that give context to the research papers. The language of the research papers is not simplified; AI is not a simple field. But neither is it incomprehensible, so if parts of this special issue are found to be difficult, the reader is advised to concentrate on the overall ideas rather than their specific expression.
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