Adding Consciousness to AI Creates Value


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I have always been worried about the advent of AI, and how it can impact all of us. AI increases efficiency, reduces error and risk, has unbiased decisions and is inhuman.

Do we, for example, want biased decisions? Do we want human decisions or just mere machine decisions? What tasks can we leave safely to AI and which tasks must require human intervention? How can we take advantage of human strengths and machine strengths? Humans have limits in their machine type work. Should AI be used to only help here, or should humans help AI with interventions where consciousness, psychological thinking and awareness is necessary? Can AI become accountable?

I think we need to start with ‘human’ designers, and their cognizance of the dangers of AI, and human limitations. Only ‘smart’ humans can understand and design smart machines, and human like machines that can create value beyond the mechanical and rote value. Can humans think the way AI thinks or could think?

Artificial intelligence by definition is not real intelligence, it has limitations. This has been recognized for years by leaders, and more work is being done in this area. Many humans do not understand that the AI systems could be smarter than humans in logic and

Much of this started with Guilford in the 1950s when he said creative thought depends on convergent thinking and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking, is the ability to answer questions correctly, and is predominantly a display of memory and logic. Divergent thinking, the ability to generate many potential answers from a single problem or question, shows a flair for curiosity, an ability to think “outside the box.” This is a form of creativity. (Details available in Atlantic magazine). Humans seem to be stronger in divergent thinking than computers who excel in convergent thinking.

However, now systems are being designed with divergent thinking capabilities. This may mean that ‘real’ intelligence is being built in. Perhaps machines can have evolutionary thinking.

For example, Tim Cook suggests that augmented reality (AR) — a technology that combines real-world objects with computer-generated ones — is more psychologically palatable than metaverse. It strikes the right balance of weird and acceptable.

The purpose of this article is not to delve into how artificial intelligence can grow into real or human intelligence but how all of us must understand the limitations. When we use artificial intelligence, we start to realise we are not as smart as we think we are.

Sometimes when creating luxury items and selling them we have to create a n attraction that is human in the buyer: liking, pride of ownership, joy of owning etc. Our approach has to be human centric. Can we use AI to augment our offering to improve mindful attractiveness. Luxury items require us to create extreme value for the buyer. Connecting with communities and sharing values can be augmented by AI. Tickling the imagination and causing psychological value can also be augmented by inputs from humans and machines that can lead the seller intelligently.

Who will control the future? AI or humans? Will there be trustworthy AI systems? For trustworthy systems, we must understand the AI biases, design and how it thinks. Trustworthy systems would let us do this and not misbehave. Systems need to be fair, transparent and explainable. There are many questions that can impact value creation and value destruction.

To create value for ourselves through AI, we then must have this realisation of the limitations, the stream of intelligence and consciousness and awareness that we have and the AI systems have. We must learn where to exercise control, and put safeguards. Then and only then will we create adequate value for ourselves and reduce risks of machine overrides.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gautam Mahajan
Gautam Mahajan, President of Customer Value Foundation is the leading global leader in Customer Value Management. Mr Mahajan worked for a Fortune 50 company in the USA for 17 years and had hand-on experience in consulting, training of leaders, professionals, managers and CEOs from numerous MNCs and local conglomerates like Tata, Birla and Godrej groups. He is also the author of widely acclaimed books "Customer Value Investment: Formula for Sustained Business Success" and "Total Customer Value Management: Transforming Business Thinking." He is Founder Editor of the Journal of Creating Value ( and runs the global conference on Creating Value (


  1. It’s becoming clear that with all the brain and consciousness theories out there, the proof will be in the pudding. By this I mean, can any particular theory be used to create a human adult level conscious machine. My bet is on the late Gerald Edelman’s Extended Theory of Neuronal Group Selection. The lead group in robotics based on this theory is the Neurorobotics Lab at UC at Irvine. Dr. Edelman distinguished between primary consciousness, which came first in evolution, and that humans share with other conscious animals, and higher order consciousness, which came to only humans with the acquisition of language. A machine with primary consciousness will probably have to come first.

    What I find special about the TNGS is the Darwin series of automata created at the Neurosciences Institute by Dr. Edelman and his colleagues in the 1990’s and 2000’s. These machines perform in the real world, not in a restricted simulated world, and display convincing physical behavior indicative of higher psychological functions necessary for consciousness, such as perceptual categorization, memory, and learning. They are based on realistic models of the parts of the biological brain that the theory claims subserve these functions. The extended TNGS allows for the emergence of consciousness based only on further evolutionary development of the brain areas responsible for these functions, in a parsimonious way. No other research I’ve encountered is anywhere near as convincing.

    I post because on almost every video and article about the brain and consciousness that I encounter, the attitude seems to be that we still know next to nothing about how the brain and consciousness work; that there’s lots of data but no unifying theory. I believe the extended TNGS is that theory. My motivation is to keep that theory in front of the public. And obviously, I consider it the route to a truly conscious machine, primary and higher-order.

    My advice to people who want to create a conscious machine is to seriously ground themselves in the extended TNGS and the Darwin automata first, and proceed from there, by applying to Jeff Krichmar’s lab at UC Irvine, possibly. Dr. Edelman’s roadmap to a conscious machine is at


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