The idea of producing an artificial sentient being is extremely ancient, and is featured in numerous myths (the Golem, the Greek promethean myth, mechanical men in Chrétien de Troyes, Frankenstein being examples). In science fiction, artificial conscious beings often take the form of robots or artificial intelligences. Artificial consciousness is an interesting philosophical problem because, with increased understanding of genetics, neuroscience and information processing, it may soon be possible to create a conscious entity.
It may be possible biopsychology to create a being by manufacturing a genome that had the genes necessary for a human brain, and to inject this into a suitable host germ cell. Such a creature, when implanted and born from a suitable womb, would very possibly be conscious and artificial. But what properties of this organism would be responsible for its consciousness? Could such a being be made from non-biological components? Can the techniques used in the design of computers be adapted to create a conscious entity? Would it ever be ethical to do such a thing?
Neuroscience hypothesizes that consciousness is generated by the interoperation of various parts of the brain, called the neural correlates of consciousness, or NCCs. The brain somehow avoids the problem described in the Homunculus fallacy and overcomes the problems described below in the next section. Proponents of (AC) believe computers can emulate this interoperation, which is not yet fully understood.