“An Octopus is, first, an organism with a large nervous system and a complex active body. It has rich sensory capacities and extraordinary capacities for behaviour. Octopuses, of at least some species, have an opportunistic, exploratory style of interaction with the world. They are curious, embracing novelty, protean in behaviour as well as in body. These features are reminiscent of what Stanislas Dehaene associates with consciousness in human mental life…the demands of novelty jolt usfrom unconscious routine into conscious reflection. An octopus’s explorations are sometimes mixed with caution and sometimes puzzling recklessness.
If we can make contact with cephalopods as sentient beings, it is not because of a shared history, not because of kinship, but because evolution built minds twice over. This is probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien.”
Other minds – The Octopus and evolution of intelligent life, 2016.