The increasing demands on information processing require novel computational concepts and true parallelism. Nevertheless, hardware realizations of unconventional computing approaches never exceeded a marginal existence. While the application of optics in super-computing receives reawakened interest, new concepts, partly neuro-inspired, are being considered and developed. Here we experimentally demonstrate the potential of a simple photonic architecture to process information at unprecedented data rates, implementing a learning-based approach. A semiconductor laser subject to delayed self-feedback and optical data injection is employed to solve computationally hard tasks. We demonstrate simultaneous spoken digit and speaker recognition and chaotic time-series prediction at data rates beyond 1Gbyte/s. We identify all digits with very low classification errors and perform chaotic time-series prediction with 10% error. Our approach bridges the areas of photonic information processing, cognitive and information science.