Connectionism, neural nets
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Connectionism is the idea that interesting things are emergent effects from interconnected networks of simple units.
The term is used in cognitive psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind, to model mental and behavioral phenomena -- but most recognizably in artificial intelligence in the form of neural networks.
Another angle is computationalism, which works more on higher-level expression, and tends to think connectionism is no more than lower-level association. The two are not necessarily incompatible, but certainly distinct approaches.
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