A new paper by Andrei Kirilyuk proposes a universal theory of consciousness as an emergent property of complex dynamics of brain (or machine) states. The paper is called Emerging Consciousness as a Result of Complex-Dynamical Interaction Process (PDF format). Kirilyuk proposes that most of the "mysterious" qualities of consciousness that so many people seem to perceive are a side-effect of the brain's design and function, emerging from the interaction of the components in the brain. There's lot of math, talk about fractals and chaos theory, and even quantum mechanics. In the end Kirilyuk not only concludes that machine consciouness is possible but that it likely "plays an indispensible role in the next stage of progressive civilisation development".