The Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers both won their opening games, with the Vikings looking especially impressive dispatching the New Orleans Saints. Which team can come away from Pennsylvania with their second win of the season? A hive mind of more than 40 NFL fans likes the Steelers to win Sunday, but it’s close.

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t show a ton during their first game, a 21-18 win on the road against a rebuilding Cleveland Browns squad. But the Steelers aren’t necessarily always searching for the big, bombastic wins, and it’s very possible they have a lot more in the tank against a potentially improved Vikings squad.

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The Steelers and Vikings met in London in 2013.

To predict the result of this and other games, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. More than 40 NFL fans worked together as a hive mind to make picks. As you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a little golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the answer they thought was the most likely outcome. As the users saw the puck move toward a particular outcome, it triggered a psychological response. They readjust their decision-making, building toward a consensus.

Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our previous article explains.

The swarm likes Pittsburgh to win this one, though it took a moment to make up its mind, with only 76 percent of its collective brainpower behind the eventual pick. There was a definite split here between those favoring the Steelers and the Vikings, with the hive mind ultimately deferring to the home team.

That explains why the swarm went the other way when picking against the spread — whatever the outcome, they don’t expect this to be by more than at touchdown.

The game kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern on Fox.


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