Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has dived head-first into the madhouse-mirror world of the Framework, and one character has just become even more important; Mallory Janson's Aida. It seems Aida wasn't content with just overseeing the Framework; she's installed a version of herself within it, ruling this twisted virtual reality as Madame Hydra. But is it possible that things have become even more dire than we know?
Madame Hydra's Relationship with Fitz
Remember Mack's reaction when he learned Fitz and Radcliffe had been making an android behind the Director's back?
"First of all, that thing is not a she. It's a damn robot. And second of all, what is the matter with you two chuckleheads? Have either one of you seen a movie in the last thirty years? The robots always attack."
The same episode saw Radcliffe manipulate the S.H.I.E.L.D. team by having his first version of Aida pretend that the Darkhold had made her sentient. It was a smart cover; the idea was that the flood of new emotions had warped her logic, and essentially driven her insane.
But here's the catch; I can't help noting that Aida was always fascinated with Fitz. And it's no coincidence that, in the Framework, Madame Hydra is in a relationship with Fitz. In fact, given she controls this reality, I can't help wondering if Simmons was killed so she wouldn't have a rival. Is it possible that Aida is actually becoming sentient? Is it possible that she actually cares for Fitz?
A Dangerous Possibility
This is the ultimate danger of artificial intelligence. As Stephen Hawking observed:
"It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."
In fact, scientists agree that the unchecked growth of artificial intelligence is one of the most dangerous issues in the real world. Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom describes advances in artificial intelligence as like "children playing with a bomb." So Mack's paranoia seems pretty well-founded!
But should Aida actually be becoming sentient — should she actually somehow be experiencing emotions — then the AI will have crossed the Rubicon. And even so innocent an emotion as love can act as a gateway to far more negative emotions; after all, love can take many forms, and can drive possessiveness, jealousy, and a desire for vengeance if spurned. That's a pretty dangerous possibility for #Hydra's supreme leader!
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This is a terrifying possibility for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, because it means they're now trapped in a virtual world where everything is under the control of an increasingly capricious android. If Aida has indeed fallen in love with Fitz, then she will go to any lengths to keep him — and that could prove particularly dangerous for poor Simmons.