In a comment to The emergence of CI, an online experiment, somebody asked this question:
> In other words, is self-awareness a requirement for being a CI?
I choose to respond here, in this entry, as to give more visibility to that question, the importance of which cannot be overestimated.
Self-awareness is definirtely a requirement and antecedent of CI. That’s exactly why I doubt that humans have a lot to learn from the frequently cited “CI” of bee hives, ant colonies, schools of fish, flock of birds, etc. Their coordinative mechanisms are great innovations of natural evolution that we need to study and understand but the quality of CI possible in human communities is quite different from, for instance, the “CI” of social insects. They have consciousness but unlike us, they are not conscious of having consciousness, therefore their available scenarios limited to the ones programmed by nature. We can change our future and that makes all the difference.
The negative impact of limited self-awareness is very visible in the Borg, and in real-life, authoritarian communities. Only evolved human beings who have chosen to realize their highest potential–being free from the limitations imposed by ego–will be capable to reach new peaks of collective intelligence demonstrated by the higher and sustained levels of shared-attention, harmony, joy, integration and collective performance. Personal evolution and collective intelligence are co-arising.