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What Is the Connection between Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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Neural networks and artificial intelligence are often studied together since the use of neural networks is one method by which artificial intelligence programming can be achieved. While this is not the only method, or the best method in all instances, for creating programs with artificial intelligence, the use of neural networks has become increasingly popular. Artificial neural networks are essentially based on the way in which the human brain functions, through the creation of networks that interconnect and communicate to achieve various tasks. This type of network typically mimics organic neural networks, however, and neural networks and artificial intelligence have not yet been used to create a program that equals human thought processes.

The fields of neural networks along with artificial intelligence are often pursued by those interested in programming. Artificial intelligence is essentially the idea of a computer program or system that could equal or surpass the human brain in terms of processing power and cognitive capacity. There are many different ways in which this type of artificial intelligence is being developed, and neural networks are among the most popular forms of artificial intelligence. Neural networks and artificial intelligence work well together since both systems typically use the human brain as the standard for processing capability.

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A neural network is basically a network that consists of individual processors that can function together to process information and make judgments based on established data. Organic neural networks are found in the human brain and are essential to human thought and cognitive abilities. Synthetic neural networks are often created in ways that mimic this type of structure to allow individual systems to communicate and work together. In this way, researchers and computer scientists use neural networks and artificial intelligence to attempt to create computer systems and software that can approach the processing abilities of the human brain.

This type of network is often not designed as an exact model of the human brain, however, as scientific understanding of the human brain is still somewhat limited. Such limitations, coupled with limitations on computer hardware and software, have prevented existing neural networks and artificial intelligence theories from equaling or surpassing human thought through artificial means. These limitations are likely to be only temporary, however, as computer technology improves and medical understanding of human consciousness continues to grow. Some scientists believe that developments in this field could one day lead to breakthroughs in robotics, cybernetics, and even the proliferation of human thought into digital mediums.

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