Few years back I decided to get into learning electronics hardware implementations as in SmartGrid and firmware applications. I believe that the convergence of soft, firm, and hard-wares is the future and understanding and leveraging this convergence will be key to success for companies that use technology for enablement.
Here is just such an example coming out of IBM, "IBM training computer chip to learn like a human", details here.
"Synapse was designed to learn through experience, find correlations, create hypotheses and remember outcomes. As chips such as Synapse become smarter and smaller, it will be possible to embed them in everyday objects. That portends a future in which the interaction between computer and user is far more natural and ubiquitous."