Empirically, we misunderstand animal consciousness either as human or as a machine. This is because it is hard for us to understand any imperfect stage except by its completion. We understand the animal either as human consciousness in first act (awareness) or in its second (as it overflows in design).
We’ve just started to notice that trees receive information about their environment. Early attempts describe this as “plant intelligence“. They could just as easily speak of the plant’s programming. Again, human or machine. Information theory pushes this to the level of any substance, where again we meet either Shannon information which utterly disregards human meaning for pure machine interaction or the Dawkinsian gene which transcends any physical instantiation.
Information requires surprise and so belongs only to finite minds. Neither God nor machines can be surprised. It is the inverse of energy that cannot be used, and so belongs to a limited power.