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ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been making references to the big screen Marvel ventures from the very beginning. The seemingly supernatural elements of Season 4 have mostly tied into Doctor Strange, but a clip for the midseason finale reveals that we're in for a big shoutout to Avengers: Age of Ultron in the very near future. Check it out!
For Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans who also happened to catch Age of Ultron, the legacy of the film has loomed over the show ever since the end of Season 3 when Dr. Radcliffe revealed that he was secretly working with artificial intelligence. Such technology backfired in a huge way in Age of Ultron when Tony Stark's peacekeeping program suddenly stopped keeping the peace and nearly destroyed humanity en masse. The robot was created by Stark with the best of intentions, but good intentions did nothing to save lives when Ultron turned on the human race, and the folks of Sokovia paid the price.
Basically, the android AIDA sounds like Dr. Radcliffe's version of Ultron. In all fairness to him, AIDA seems to have more effective safeguards than Ultron, and she's been immensely helpful so far. AIDA was designed to assist with science, not enforce peace. She recently managed to read the unreadable Darkhold and design an invisible portal to bring Coulson and Fitz back from another dimension before they could disappear completely. It's only thanks to her artificial intelligence that she was able to read the Darkhold without having her mind warped by the contents.
Unfortunately, the episode ended with a hint that the Darkhold did have an effect on AIDA. Using the tech built to facilitate the portal between dimensions, AIDA was last seen constructing what looked an awful lot like a brain. Given that Dr. Radcliffe was off-screen strumming a guitar and trying to write a song about their adventures of the day, AIDA seemed to be creating the brain without her creator's instruction. If so, she's showing more independent thought than ever before.
The episode didn't explain why AIDA was creating the brain, but the odds are pretty good that she was designing it for herself. She'd be more vulnerable with a human brain, but she'd also have free will. Her programmed intelligence and familiarity with the Darkhold combined with a human brain could mean big trouble for Coulson and the rest of the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. There's a reason why the Sokovia Accords of Captain America: Civil War evidently created regulations for artificial intelligence, and the good guys of S.H.I.E.L.D. may discover too late that they made a big mistake in allowing AIDA to assist on covert and all-important missions like the one coming up in the midseason finale.