Consciousness is a byproduct of socialization.
The formation of “Self” only occurs in the presence of “others”. Self is how we distinguish our individual body and mind from others.
It arose due to our ability to modify beliefs after information (propositional knowledge) is acquired from “others”, as a result of communication, a social enterprise, but more specifically, vocal language, which transcends other forms of communication such as pheromones or gestures, and adds infinite complexity to our data capturing ability.
The reflection that arises from consciousness is due to our ability to put ourselves in another person’s shoes, given personal knowledge, which allows us to see ourselves from the “others” perspective, which allows us to update knowledge and beliefs.
This is why consciousness is so valuable.
Consciousness is a habituated form of self-reflection. A computer can be super-intelligent, as it relates to efficiently processing inputs and learning from outputs to produce optimal outcomes, but is decidedly not conscious, because it lacks the ability to reflect on its “self”, the socially constructed concept of internalized identify.
Just as self-awareness increases with the addition of perspective, often a result of education, but not always and not guaranteed, as more options to choose a frame or context for action to produce optimal outcome in that context, or application.
The unconscious reflections operate on our behaviors all the time. We mediate our instinctual impulses for self preservation, with the values and imperatives we’ve been conditioned/ enculturated with.
I think of consciousness and AI, and the concept of “reflection” like the process of “back propagation”, where new data is introduced to update beliefs, or re-weight functions of thought to create more balanced probability processing networks that produce consistent optimal outcomes.