I am writing a short story in which the protagonist believes his android assistant is demonstrating signs of consciousness. The android's mind is based on deep-learning artificial general intelligence and has progressed well beyond human comprehension. My protagonist does not know how consciousness could have emerged and is frightened by the ramifications. He feels the only person he can discuss this with is an old friend and work associate who's opinion he respects.
The largest portion of the story is a dinner conversation in which they discuss the nature and origin of consciousness and the possibility of a soul, in order to decide what must be done with the android. They each bring a variety of perspectives to the conversation. My protagonist is a former Chief Data Scientist now involved in AI for robotics; his dinner partner is also a Data Scientist and entrepreneur. My protagonist considers himself nonreligious with a lingering Christian mindset. His dinner partner is a faithful Muslim.
I would like to keep the dinner partner Islamic if I can. However, I'm having a difficult time determining the Islamic view on emerging consciousness in AI, and whether consciousness amounts to a soul. There are plenty of papers and discussion threads on the Islamic perspective of whether a machine can have a consciousness or a soul (even here). But all are based on the premise that the android was intentionally built with consciousness. My premise is that consciousness emerged. For the nonreligious, it is, therefore, an emergent attribute of the universe. For the religious, God-given.
Is it possible for a contemporary Muslim (within the constraints of his faith) to believe that God would give an android consciousness? We'll leave the question of whether it has a soul out of it since I intend to leave that for the reader to ponder.
Feel free to give me homework.
(P.S., If you think another faith would be more fitting, I'm open to hearing your thoughts).