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Semantic Issues for Digital LibrariesIn this era of the Internet and distributed multimedia computing, new and emerging classes of information systems applications have swept into the lives of office workers and everyday people. New applications ranging from digital libraries, multimedia systems, geographic information systems, collaborative computing to electronic commerce, virtual reality, and electronic video arts and games have created tremendous opportunities for information and computer science researchers and practitioners. As the applications become more overwhelming, pressing, and diverse, several well-known information retrieval (IR) problems have become even more urgent in this â networkcentricâ information age. Information overload, a result of the ease of information creation and rendering via the Internet and the World Wide Web, has become more evident in peopleâ s lives. Significant variations of database formats and structures, the richness of information media, and an abundance of multilingual information content also have created severe information interoperability problems-structural interoperability, media interoperability, and multilingual interoperability. The conventional approaches to addressing information overload and information interoperability problems are manual in nature, requiring human experts as information intermediaries to create knowledge structures and/or ontologies. As information content and collections become even larger and more dynamic, we believe a system-aided bottom-up artificial intelligence (AI) approach is needed. By applying scalable techniques developed in various AI subareas such as image segmentation and indexing, voice recognition, natural language processing, neural networks, machine learning, clustering and categorization, and intelligent agents, we can provide an alternative system-aided approach to addressing both information overload and information interoperability.