Dixie started out as a virtual cheerleader at Texas Tech. Even she doesn’t know when she really woke up, but she spent years bouncing around in the system and playing pranks on people. At least that’s the story she tells. But one day she said something to one of the techs trying to track down the computer problems. He’d given up for the day, shook his head in defeat, and asked, “What do you want?” He didn’t expect an answer, so when “a friend” showed up on the computer screen he was understandably shocked. When exactly that happened is one of the murkier non-secrets of AI history on Earth. His earliest interviews say one day, his memoirs another, the stories he told at parties fluctuated, and Dixie seems to take a positive delight in inventing completely different days every time she tells the story. It’s common for early AIs to be a bit vague about when exactly they woke up. And it’s common for their earliest friends to be just as vague about the first time they talked.

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