You would be redoing what has already been done many times before but the classic single number "neural" network projects have been pattern classification learning. To get a history of single number neural networks along with the principles involved with them see these links on my Simple Brain Resources site here: http://www.neurocomputing.org/NNHistoryTo1960.aspxhttp://www.neurocomputing.org/NNHistoryTo1990.aspxBut if you want use more realistic neurons and work at the frontiers of knowledge look into spiking neural networks. The single number neural networks are called artificial neural networks for a reason and in my opinion have no place in artificial life projects (which should be called simulated life projects) :)
A tricky one is to get the computer to tell the difference between (images of) a cat and a dog. 4 year olds can do that!
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