X-Message-Number: 4331
Date: Tue, 2 May 1995 08:07:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Joseph J. Strout" <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Re: Neural nets

> From: 
> At least four contribotors to CryoNet (Keith F. Lynch, John 
> Clark, Eugen Leitl, and Paul Wakfer) have made the claim that 
> neural nets are computationally universal, i.e. that any 
> recursive function can be computed by a suitable neural net.  I 
> have asked to see a cite to the literature that demonstrates this 
> claim; no-one has supplied one yet. I believe that is because the 
> claim is FALSE.

Add me to your list.  =)  This (i.e., neural nets == Turing machine)
is a commonly held "fact" in the neural network community.  If your post 
is correct (which it very well might be), you really ought to write a 
paper on it.  I regret that I don't have time to track down a reference, 
but I will at least offer a quote from the comp.ai.neural-nets FAQ to 
demonstrate the pervasiveness of this belief:

 3. A: What can you do with a Neural Network and what not?

   In principle, NNs can compute any computable function, i.e. they
   can do everything a normal digital computer can do. Especially
   anything that can be represented as a mapping between vector
   spaces can be approximated to arbitrary precision by feedforward
   NNs (which is the most often used type).

(This FAQ was obtained by anonymous FTP to rtfm.mit.edu, directory 
/pub/usenet/news.answers, filename neural-net-faq.)

If this issue is really important to you, I suggest you post your article 
to comp.ai.neural-nets and see what the experts have to say about it.

|    Joseph J. Strout           Department of Neuroscience, UCSD   |
|               http://sdcc3.ucsd.edu/~jstrout/    |

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