One of the most confused, confusing and polysemous words of all time.
One distinction that has become pretty clear, however, is that between
- the "raw feel" of awareness, aka Subjective Consciousness
- Empirical Consciousness, aka Attention; the mental contents and dynamics measurably associated with the subjective report of raw consciousness
Some folks claim that only empirical consciousness exists, and subjective consciousness is a bogus notion.
Consciousness and AGI
Whether they need to pay attention to Subjective Consciousness is a whole other story. Even if one accepts that it exists, that doesn't imply one needs to explicitly put it into an AGI design: perhaps it will just be there if the structures and dynamics are constructed correctly. Different philosophies give different verdicts on this; and there are many of them.
Consciousness and Patternism
Patternist philosophy, as described in The Hidden Pattern by Ben Goertzel, suggests that Subjective Reality (home of Subjective Consciousness) and Objective Reality (home of Empirical Consciousness) are different perspectives that patterns may take on pattern-space.