All the behavior that human reflect are the result of the 100 billion neurons ( on an average make it 87 ) contributing in parallel as a single system in our brain. Now one must never think of that there is a center of our consciousness. Trust me there is None. Hence its very inappropriate to believe that there is 1 single unit inside us that gives us consciousness. If the opposite paradigm was true then let me put forward this question “If I separated the 2 half of your brain and put it in the empty skull of 2 different people then which of the 2 person would be you ?”. So now if there was a center or a single unit of consciousness then there should be 2 Me according to the questioned stated.
A particular behavior expressed by a human at any given point of time is actually a collective activation/interaction of separate sets of neurons in our brain at the same point of time. Your memories and your experiences with life should change your consciousness ( now ) by altering the fabrics of your perception of the real world. You would always agree to the fact that you were less conscious when you were a kid and are more self-aware as you grew to what you are today. Or to put it this way that you were having a different perception of your childhood life as to what you have now proves for itself that its the mere collection of memories and experiences that play much role instead of the not so well defined term consciousness.
People believe that the singularity existing in consciousness is also due to the existence of Free Will. Free-will is nothing but the process of decreasing contradiction between two or more disharmonious facts existing independently between different sets of activated neurons participating at the same moment.
In Artificial Intelligence
Since we have defined consciousness and free will in an abstract manner. Consciousness in AI would be ofcourse a collective and constructive coherent activation of neurons within the system that renders it intelligent. And to achieve that we will require not linear but massive parallel processors that compute not in a linear fashion where result of one function ( with a unique algorithm ) is transferred to another function at a higher level in the linear sequence but a large network of independent and sensitive artificial neurons.