In a seminal 1945 essay titled As We May Think, Vannevar Bush argued that computers in the future would be associative. Bush, a leading figure in the Manhattan Project, understood that significant aspects of learning involve forming associations.
We connect events, people, places and facts together and use these associations in all sorts of ways. For example, countless people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on 9/11.
An Associative Memory is an information store that organizes data in terms of relationships. In essence, an associative memory is “correlation coefficient analysis on steroids”.