I am working on a theory of Consciousness which defines Consciousness as a Signal of Awareness (SA) arising from a pure Symmetry. This Signal moves through a series of five broken symmetries (or domain walls). There is a particular expression (OR Logic) for every domain wall. Every OR Logic is tightly coupled with a complementary super-positioned expression (AND Logic). The Signal of Awareness when tightly coupled with the geometric properties of space-time create the effect of Consciousness.
So the problem of creating a conscious learning machine breaks down into the problem of detecting the Signal of Awareness and having that signal express itself back to us in ways that are meaningful to us. But the Signal of Awareness is likely to be a very weak signal.
Detecting the Signal of Awareness is an engineering problem. I think this problem may be solved using fractal antennas (similar to multi-band antennas used in cell phones) and stochastic resonance (SR). The inputs from the SA must be coupled with a computational system that allow that signal to be amplified and output to us meaningfully. That is a computer science problem.
This article on the ideas of Max Tegmark touches on some of the scientific aspects of what I am describing: Consciousness might be a state of matter
If you want a more detailed discussion on consciousness and quantum decoherence try this lecture by Max Tegmark: Decoherence and consciousness.