This is a starting point to investigate the ongoing mission of computer scientists to create AI which is self-aware and conscious. Is qualia simply materialist/physicalist information? What is going on with all the biological experiments done on people and animals?
Qualia's definition is as follows: 1. A quality, as bitterness, regarded as an independent object. 2. A sense-datum or feeling having a distinctive quality. 3. Feelings and experiences vary widely. For example, I run my fingers over sandpaper, smell a skunk, feel a sharp pain in my finger, seem to see bright purple, become extremely angry. In each of these cases, I am the subject of a mental state with a very distinctive subjective character. There is something it is like for me to undergo each state, some phenomenology that it has. 
What it feels like to experience experience, to feel a feeling, and be aware of it does not necessarily mean the presence of a dualistic mind. It may well be an emergent property of the universe created by the “slowish” Darwinian evolution over millions of years. As many emergentist philosophers admit, the very emergence of self-awareness and feeling 'what it is like' (after much debate) the emergentist will admit that it brings up a type of dualism – but a type of materialist/physicalist dualism of the emergence of mind.
The emergent property of consciousness may be very well and true; for complex systems do indeed create un-predictable properties that reductionism cannot fully explain. Does this mean that we and many animals are simply emergent complex systems with a new property of the universe called consciousness?
The bird and plane that flies are both complex systems which brings about the property of “flying”. The bird from evolution, the plane from the inventions of humans in the last few years - in scheme of things. So if qualia is an emergent property of the brain, then it would seem that there may be a chance for qualia to emerge from a complex system like a supercomputer.
Or can it?
Scientists, philosophers, and transhumanists have closely followed brain implants, deep brain stimulation, computer algorithms, going beyond the Turing Test, neural replacement and stimulation. There has also been difficult research on neural stem cells, but to the transhumanist that is not all that impressive, even though it is massively worth while and significantly important to many disabled people.
So far all forms of computer code, whether on a neural network or on a very powerful supercomputer have not created consciousness as we see in ourselves; even down to the consciousness like that of a bee. So, what then is qualia, and why are we striving to create so badly? Why is conscious experience so hard to replicate unless you physically copy the current brains of animals and humans?
Or is qualia simply materialist/physicalist information, for example, portrayed in these two cruel (to me anyway) experiments:
Monkey controls robotic arm with brain computer interface
Rat Brains Linked To Create "Biological Computer"
This is part one of a long series of articles that I will be focusing on dealing with science, philosophy, and transhumanism, and the quest to understand consciousness and qualia.
I will look into more detail about qualia, technology, and transhumanism, computer algorithms, and logic in part 2.