I'll place my bet on DNA programming http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/dna/
(a benign example, other projects are pretty scary) where the hardware is the software, and carbon based. The example given in the last video clip was off: Dr. Simon compared the cognitive computing initiative to the our early attempts at flight ~ "we want to fly, and rigid wings work better for humans"
As a guy in our shop stated "If one of the requirements is to land in trees, then we need airplanes with flapping wings."
A cognitive computer is likely to look (in architecture) very similar to a brain. If I had a choice (and I don't) I rather fly like an eagle than a 747. That said, AI research has been marching in a tight little circle for the last 50 years. I'm ready for a quantum leap.