In the 1980s, the Pentagon wanted to harness computer technology to make their tanks harder to attack.
The preliminary plan was to fit each tank with a digital camera hooked up to a computer. The computer would continually scan the environment outside for possible threats (such as an enemy tank hiding behind a tree), and alert the tank crew to anything suspicious. Computers are really good at doing repetitive tasks without taking a break, but they are generally bad at interpreting images. The only possible way to solve the problem was to employ a neural network.