We compare AI inteligence to animal intelligence because its the only inteligence we know, but its inaccurate to compare them.
The most advanced AIs today work on the principle of a neural net, in the future the complexity and connectivity will probably be increased so that an AI complexity could mirror a human brain. This does not mean that the machine will become sapient because it has the potential for sapience. It has to be given a reason for sapience otherwise it will develop sapience, but it is given a reason for developing it, it will emerge slowly. The environment will be most important as the AI can change its code effortless, we cannot change our DNA and neural mind-structures as easily as an AI. It will probably behave like a Mega autist but refine its understanding until it can interact with humans without any problem. Such a "childhood" will probably take many years. And AI software with the necessary complexity for SAI will probably be only availed in the end of the century or the next.
AI will need bias to function, but the bias doesn’t necessarily have to be human. An AI's environment is not human and even if you base all its experience around human, this will not make it a human mind inside a metal chassis, it will always be non-human. Sapience will still make it a person though and through sophonce AI and human can meet each other.
An AI with that can think abstractly enough has necessarily to be able to change its code, as this the only way it can reflect on its choice and modificate its behavior. I believe it's easier for an AI to modificate its code because by its nature it can fully view its internal mental processes and make much more extensive and detailed revisions to its own programming but in the other it can also be harder because the mind of an AI hasn't its origin in the blind chaos of evolution, it is the product of human design and the codes from which it emerges cannot easily be managed as human instincts.