The right question about consciousness

"can machines be conscious?" distracts from:
"what new level of consciousness will machines attain?"

Larger brains gave early African hominids a selective advantage
        they enabled social relations with 150-200 others
        language, social emotions (liking, guilt, shame, etc)

Super-intelligent machines will have social relations with billions
        The Internet plus intelligence
        Metcalf's Law: value of network proportional to square of size
        so monopoly super-intelligent server(s)

One degree of separation
        introduce you to your ideal mate

Understand thoughts and interactions of billions of humans
        in one of its thoughts

Insights of Euclid, Newton, Darwin and Einstein in every thought