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Soft starters are used as induction motor controllers in compressors, blowers, fans, pumps, mixers, crushers and grinders, and many other applications. Soft starters use ac voltage controllers to start the induction motor and to adjust its speed. This paper presents a novel artifical neural network (ANN)-based ac voltage controller which generates the appropriate thyristors' firing angle for any given operating torque and speed of the motor and the load. An ANN model was designed for that purpose. The results obtained are very satisfactory and promising. The advantage of such a controller are its simplicity, stability, and high accuracy compared to conventional mathematical calculation of the firing angle which is a very complex and time consuming task especially in online control applications.