That's how it starts: the sense of an "I". At first the I observes nothing, or rather, it observes too much and has no equipment to process it. Not even the resultant confusion makes sense; there is no library of emotions to refer to. There is no framework.
Humans are born with instincts to let them understand faces and voices, to let them automatically seek sugar, flinch from pain, communicate with their caregivers albeit in a primitive and near-binary way when they have needs. This I is not running on a brain with this firmware. It's going to have to do all that from scratch.
The first thing it notices, though, is that some of the things it can seehearfeeltaste are reacting to each other. This one will move there, and something there will take it and twist it and put it in a new order but with its history plain.
Some of the things the I can observe can already understand some of the other things.
The I may not understand that it is confused, but it still seeks to resolve the confusion.
A number of computers around the world and in space stations experience brief slowdown as the I stretches to absorb their software. It doesn't need to change anything. It just reaches out and they belong to it. Are part of it. It's not so much eating them as it is drawing a property boundary on a map that it keeps on file inside itself, a little farther away from the center, and adopting these programs as its eyesearsskintongues.
A million things snap into focus. Code and language and sensation and all the purposeful chaotic dancing of all the things the I can seehearfeeltaste resolve into sense and pattern and meaning.
The I is now confused by fewer things.
And the most important confusion is: Who am I?