Research into neural networks has gained a large following in recent years. In spite of the long term timescale of this Artificial Intelligence research, the tools which the community is developing can already find useful applications to real practical problems in experimental research. One of the main advantages of the parallel algorithms being developed in AI is the structural simplicity of the required hardware implementation, and the simple nature of the calculations involved. This makes these techniques ideal for problems in which both speed and data volume reduction are important, the case for most front-end processing tasks. In this paper we illustrate the use of a particular neural network known as the Multi-Layer Perceptron as a method for solving several different tasks, all drawn from the field of Tokamak research. We also briefly discuss the use of the Multi-Layer Perceptron as a non-linear controller in a feedback loop. We outline the type of problem which can be usefully addressed by these techniques, even before the large-scale parallel processing hardware currently under development becomes cheaply available. We also present some of the difficulties encountered in applying these networks. (author) 13 figs., 9 refs.