NEW YORK - It's a technological advancement that seemed incomprehensible a generation ago and now appears inevitable. From a microchip implanted subdermally, to a robot learning to imagine itself and its own purpose, and a tiny microprocessor implanted directly on the brain.
"Our lives are gonna be intertwined with robots and A.I. increasingly, in complex ways that we can't even imagine today," said Columbia University engineering and data science professor Hod Lipson.
He describes it as the inevitable fusing of the physical and digital worlds. In his robotics lab on the Manhattan campus, groundbreaking projects are underway.
"We want robots to understand what they are, how they move, how they operate," he said.
It's sophisticated machine learning, allowing the robot to literally wake up and discover itself.
"With that knowledge, it can imagine itself into the future," he said.
It's an extension of human thought, allowing mankind and machine to exist more efficiently.
"Robotics used to be something like okay, maybe you had a vacuum cleaning robot, you step over it, you move on, but now it's it's going to be everywhere," Lipson said. "There's drones, this, you're going to trust your life to a self-driving car, you're gonna trust the life of your children, to a robot. I mean, this is this was unthinkable just a few years ago, and it's inevitable."
If that's a nuanced concept of man's evolution with machines what Brandon Dalaly is doing is much more direct.
"People have called me cyborg and everything, which I think is pretty funny. And I mean, I guess they could be accurate," the 41-year-old said. "I mean, technically, both my hands can communicate with different types of computers."
He decided to become a part machine by having chips implanted inside both hands. He can now start his Tesla, open his home door and in the future even replace his wallet with a swipe of his hand.
"I wanted to be able to leave my house with no house key, no car key, no wallet and still be able to carry out my everyday activities like I normally would," he added.
Bio-hacking your own body opens up endless possibilities.
"We're at the dawn of this," he said. "It's slowly working its way up."
It's the type of technology, once considered sci-fi that may be working its way into your workplace.
Behovox CEO Erkin Adylov says his company uses artificial intelligence to help companies sort through tens of thousands of emails looking for threats. It's highlighting the ability of Artificial Intelligence to improve natural human potential.
"It's not actually about replacing humans with a machine, it's actually creating a symbiosis between the two," Adylov said.
The mind and the machine are being intertwined like never before. You can find it in the unique technology from companies like Synchron.
They've developed a tiny brain implant -- called a Stentrode-- enabling patients to wirelessly control digital devices through thought - designed for people suffering from paralysis.
Company co-founder, Nicholas Opie, says this is just the beginning.
"At the moment we're looking at recording information to allow people to control things. but certainly, in the future, there's no reason we can't start putting information back and that might be similar to some products they've got for treating Parkinson’s disease or epilepsy."