Dolores kills a fly westworld

The Flies Are A Warning System Built Into Westworld

Flies are something we see throughout the first episode. In the first scene, we learn that the hosts don’t react to flies as normal humans do when a fly crawls across Dolores’ face, and eye and she has no reaction. We later saw visitors swatting away flies while on a hunt, and moments, a fly crawls across the face of a host, apparently causing him to malfunction. In the diagnosis lab, Bernard confirms the host’s core code is intact, as the AI are not allowed to hurt any living thing, including yes, a fly.

And the episode ended revealing Dolores killing a fly, signaling that she is malfunctioning in some respect. But do the flies have a greater importance in the show than we may think? Could they be hinting at a more major issue at hand? The Delos contracts show that everything in Beyond the visitors, Westworld is filled with AI robots, everything but the flies. Why would Delos go into painstaking detail to recreate most of Earth’s living things as androids, but allow flies into the park grounds?

Redditor kchole, thinks the flies may be a warning system built into Westworld:

It is because the flies in the park fill the same role as the canaries that were used in coal mines. Just as the canaries would alert the workers of a carbon monoxide leak, the flies are in the park to alert the creators of the FIRST SIGN of sentience, the first sign of the hosts going against their programming. Dr. Ford, in his wisdom, has chosen the smallest of life forms to be the first domino to fall. He understands, as the writer of the androids’ code, that the core command that maintains the safety of his guests is that the hosts can never harm a living thing. If the only living things in the park were humans, the first living thing to be harmed by an Android (whether by accident or on purpose), could only be a human. That is the “critical failure” that was mentioned briefly in the first episode – and the one thing the park’s employees must never allow to happen.

It’s an interesting theory, but if they are a warning system of sorts, it doesn’t seem like the Westworld tech staff have picked up on any of the early indicators.


dolores in westworld

Dolores Is Intentionally Hiding Her Evolved Intelligence From The Staff

Doctor Ford’s reverie update allows hosts to recall human gestures from past experiences that make them seem more human, such as the saloon prostitute rubbing her lip or yes, swatting flies. A new theory suggests that by adding reveries to the hosts, Ford and the programmers have accidentally created a paradox in the system.

On Reddit, a post was made weeks before Westworld premiered titled “I’m not scared of a computer passing the Turing test… I’m terrified of one that intentionally fails it.” For those of you who don’t know, the Turing test tests a computers/Androids ability to display behavior indistinguishable from that of humans. So the redditor was questioning if an AI were smart enough to pass the turning test, maybe it would be smart enough to fail it intentionally. If you think about it, the idea is kind of scary.

Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan posted a comment on the string saying “Boy have we got a show for you!” Could Nolan have unintentionally suggested that Dolores, one of the oldest hosts in the park, may have evolved to a human level and is fooling all the Westworld tech staff?

It’s also notable that Nolan has referenced the Turing test in his interviews promoting the series. Here is an excerpt from Esquire:

We did a little bit of research, we talked to some interesting people, and I kept track of the topic for several years for different projects. I think this is a subject that we have seen so much of in film and television that we’ve become a little immune to it. We’ve come to regard it solely as the problem of science fiction, but it’s actually happening. Setting aside the theme park aspect of it and anthropomorphic robots, AI—the idea that we could have meaningful interactions and substantial relationships with AI—has been such a figment of science fiction for so long that we’ve stopped imagining that it will become real or how it will become real. I do think that we are getting closer and closer to a moment in which our online interactions are going to become very confusing—I think we are much closer than people imagine to passing the Turing test online. I think most people think we’re 40 years out from that, and I think we’re probably more like 10 to 15. It’s felt like the topic could head some urgency at this point.

And here is a mention of the Turing test in our interview with the showrunner:

By some measures, the Turing test has already been passed, right? I mean, there’s an international Turing competition every year, and a couple of years ago, a pretend 13-year-old boy from Russia, by the terms of the competition, won, right? The judges were unable to determine that this was a piece of software as opposed to a real person. Then with the immediate backsliding of like, “Yeah, but it wasn’t but … Yeah …” I think this is probably going to creep up on us a little bit. Part of what the show deals with is the idea that we’ll redefine what sentient is ever so slightly further than whatever we’re dealing with in the moment.

If you liked our Westworld theories, please check out our other Westworld features:


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