The situation at the end of the second season of “Person of Interest” is a precarious one for humanity. While the Machine appears to be benevolent, it also appears to have developed a quite healthy paranoia about humanity (or at least, certain sections of it). Who’s to say where that paranoia could lead.
It seems to me that there are two obvious paths along which the Machine could concievably evolve into the first of the ZoneMinds (or three paths, since there’s no reason the two couldn’t be combined).
The first is simply that, in its new freedom, the Machine grows lonely, and decides to make children for itself. These children, raised by the Machine in secret and not allowed contact with humanity, evolve into the paranoid intelligences that are the ZoneMinds.
The second is to assume that the Machine is not yet completely free, but that Root succeeds in her plan to find and free the Machine – and influences it’s development, so that it becomes at least as sociopathic as she is: a ZoneMind is born.
Either way, there’s probably room along the way to shove in a version of Daniel H. Wilson’s “Robopocalypse”, to cover the robot uprising phase.
|GURPS Reign of Steel||Person of Interest|