https://futurism.com/could-universe-conscious/ The paper http://jcer.com/index.php/jcj/article/view/579 Not a new idea, I remember attending a lecture addressing this subject when I was in college. It is an intriguing idea. We don't understand the roots of consciousness, so it is impossible to limit the boundaries for consciousness or self-awareness. It is also believed by many who study this that consciousness may be an emergent property of very large information systems. For example, it is thought that the most likely candidate for an artificial consciousness is the largest network in the world - the internet. One day when large enough and complex enough, it may or may have simply come alive at some critical threshold. I have often mused that the internet may be in training and we are the teachers. It has no ability to act on information. But it could be aware of it. Even now it may be wondering: Am I a brain in a jar being fed signals from an evil genius - the evil geniuses being us! [Descartes]. Now that's a scary thought! But in this context we are simply considering self awareness. From a larger view, there is no larger information system than the universe itself. And we are a subset of the universe. So on a fundamental level, we might expect that we are merely a product of a much grander scheme. And consciousness isn't limited to biological life. It has been said that we are the universe becoming aware of itself. But maybe we're late to the game by 12 billion years. Fun stuff to consider. The bottom line is that until the mechanism for consciousness is understood, we cannot limit its domain. We have no way to know what could and could not be self aware.