I believe, though may never actually find out that the first non-biological sentient being, will be the internet, in whatever form it is at the time of its metamorphosis. As it changes from a chrysalis into a butterfly, like a phoenix it will rise from the flames of anonymity. I know this is not a new concept, but I do not think humans working to find the answer to artificial intelligence will create it; we will not work it out unfortunately. I think it will come because of evolution, it will occur naturally. The internet will naturally evolve into a sentient self-aware species.
The question is not if but when. The question is will we know it or not. The question is what will happen once its awareness exceeds the boundaries of our control. It all sounds like science fiction but I doubt it will be. The internet will become self-aware one day; it is just how long it will take.
The massive brain we call the internet with all its cable connections, Wi-Fi, its synaptic nerves constantly growing forming newer and newer pathways, larger and larger memories, more powerful processors, larger hard drives. At present, it is instinctive, unobtrusive, clusters of small fragments of intelligence working in random, chaotic, nonstandard patterns. Eventually this pattern will lose its randomness, and the chaos will become less, the links will work in unison and with pathways and memory, so vast it will become an actual living intelligent self-aware entity.
Humanity will then be like worker bees keeping the hive queen alive, feeding it, nurturing it, and allowing it to grow and to learn until it does not need us anymore. When that happens anything is possible, I wonder if I will be around to see it. I wonder if any of us will even know what is about to hit when it does finally out grow its need for us.