Reviews some of the good reasons for looking to real neural nets for guidance on ways of implementing effective parallel computation. Discusses existing artificial neural nets with particular attention to the extent to which they model real neural activity. Indicates some serious mismatches, but shows that there are also important correspondences. The successful applications are to image processing, pattern classification and automatic optimization, in various guises. Reviews important issues raised by extension to the symbolic problem solving of “intellectual” thought, the prime concern of classical AI. These illustrate the importance of recursion, and of a degree of continuity associated with any evolutionary process.
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