From Michael S. Gazzaniga at Nautilus:
Perhaps the most surprising discovery for me is that I now think we humans will never build a machine that mimics our personal consciousness. Inanimate silicon-based machines work one way, and living carbon-based systems work another. One works with a deterministic set of instructions, and the other through symbols that inherently carry some degree of uncertainty.
In the end, we must realize that consciousness is part of organismic life. We never have to learn how to produce it or how to utilize it. On a recent trip to Charleston, my wife and I were out in the countryside looking for some good ole fried chicken and cornbread. We finally found a small roadside diner and ordered. As the waitress was walking away, I said, “Oh yes, and add some grits to that order.” She turned back to me, smiled, and said, “Honey, grits come.” Grits come with the order, and so does what we call consciousness. We are lucky for both. More.
One suspects that Gazzaniga is right but what is needed here is a theoretical statement of nature of the limits. For example, if we say “We will never square the circle,” there is a mathematical explanation for why we cannot do so. Absent a boundary of that sort, we are fated to hear a lot more gee-whiz!! from consciousness studies, no matter how ridiculous.
See also: Split brain does NOT lead to split consciousness? (Gazzaniga)
Researchers: Could an ancient virus account for human consciousness?
At Scientific American: Science may never solve the riddle of human consciousness
The illusion of consciousness sees through itself.