The Detroit Lions won a high-scoring game against the Arizona Cardinals to open their season, while the New York Giants lost decisively on the road against the Dallas Cowboys. Will a return to East Rutherford, New Jersey, help the Giants right the ship? A hive mind of 40 NFL fans like the Giant’s chances Monday night, picking them to win a close one.

Things really did not go well for the Giants last Sunday. Sometimes pictures tell the story: In looking for a photo of Giants quarterback Eli Manning from last week’s game to illustrate this story, the one up top only appeared after pages and pages of sacks, drops, tackles, big Cowboy offensive plays, and general New York misery. So there’s room for improvement this week. The Lions, meanwhile, just want to keep things chugging along nicely after a two-score victory over the Cardinals.

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The Giants and Lions last played in December 2016.

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 triggers 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 hive mind thinks the Giants can take this one, but there was some definite disagreement — look at that initial hesitation by the swarm. Ultimately there’s only low confidence in the Giants to win, with just 72 percent of the collective brainpower behind the choice.

The swarm figures this will be a close one, picking Detroit against the spread. If that proves accurate, the game will come down to a field goal or less in New York’s favor. Either way, best to expect this one to be close.

The game kicks off 8:30 p.m. Eastern Monday on ESPN.


If you liked this article, check out this video of Bob Ross (and his “happy little trees”) as seen through Google’s DeepDream A.I. program.

Photos via Getty Images / Jeff Zelevansky, Unanimous A.I., Getty Images / Tom Pennington