A recent interview with Sundar Pinchai on 60 minutes highlights the conversation around the consciousness of AI is happening at the highest levels and seems to be taken pretty seriously.
Although I find some generative AI tools quite useful for day-to-day tasks, they're really not that "intelligent". Ask ChatGPT or Bing Chat to produce a blog post for example; most of the time the result is just not usable without further editing. Same thing with text-to-image models. The appearance of intelligence has some individuals believe these applications are somewhat sentient but it couldn't be further from the truth.