A type of artificial intelligence that attempts to imitate the way a human brain works. Rather than using a digital model, in which all computations manipulate zeros and ones, a neural network works by creating connections between processing elements, the computer equivalent of neurons. The organization and weights of the connections determine the output.
Neural networks are particularly effective for predicting events when the networks have a large database of prior examples to draw on. Strictly speaking, a neural network implies a non-digital computer, but neural networks can be simulated on digital computers.
The field of neural networks was pioneered by Bernard Widrow of Stanford University in the 1950s. Neural networks are currently used prominently in voice recognition systems, image recognition systems, industrial robotics, medical imaging, data mining and aerospace applications.
Neural network and artificial neural network are often used interchangeably.