I can’t really say that no one saw this coming, but this development is more or less on-que for the evolution of eventual ‘strong’ AI. Neural networks already reproduce the behaviour of brain neurons (hence their name), but they do so within the paradigm of discreet circuitry.
What we have here is built in learning directly on the hardware. The insinuation is that with enough of these things all working together, we will have an artificial brain. In fact it may not even be artificial, but a new type of brain based on silicon.
See what I’m going on about here.