Constructs are not a new topic, from the thought-form to the humunculus, there has been the concept of creating life, or something which resembles it. The concept of creating such, within one's headspace may be considered radical today, but is quite possibly not.
One interpretation of the "Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" is that they are both constructs of the earlier Dr. Jeckyll, the later Dr. Jeckyll being the goal, and Mr. Hyde being the "leftover bits" of the earlier Dr. Jeckyll. Although a work of fiction, I guess it does indicate someone thought in that direction, hence it's not too new an idea.
Constructs can, and do depending on the system, have varying degrees of self-awareness.