Are there any papers published on this approach?

Not yet, but there is going to be a poster at Cosyne 2018,  and check this page for a good background reading list.

Is there any code?

Not yet, but source code is coming soon to github...

Is this for real?

Does it look real?  Yes, its real.

Why are you doing this?

No one seems to be asking or answering the questions I'm interested in.