Our brains are hardwired with a basic set of rules, i.e. "instinct". Years of evolving commands a refinement process that prepares a newborn brain to accept the stimuli we perceive as 'reality'.
Our 5 basic senses shape the reality we see, hear, taste, smell, & touch, and all are merely electrical signals.
This newborn's brain would not be able to tell the difference if it were being kept alive in a glass container, being fed those signals externally, or actually in a human body.
Other stimuli could also be artificially reproduced like the sense of balance, direction, acceleration, etc.
The key to AI seems to point towards having that initial construct, complete with its basic set of instincts.
Evolution would shape the rest.