The New York Giants have looked listless the first two weeks of the season, with a woeful inability to score points. The Philadelphia Eagles have looked basically fine in a pair of competitive games, so they are looking good heading into Sunday’s game. A hive mind of more than 30 NFL fans agrees, picking Philly to win.
The Giants have only scored 13 points total on the year, looking different flavors of bad in their games against the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions. The Eagles, by contrast, are an unobtrusive 1-1, beating Washington by 13 and losing to Kansas City by a touchdown in the season’s opening weeks. With the Giants facing serious problems on offense that need fixing — which may or may not begin with the play of longtime quarterback Eli Manning — the Eagles might seem set for an easy win at home, but the swarm isn’t quite that sure.
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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. Here’s how Unanimous A.I. founder Lloyd Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk.
Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our previous article explains.
The swarm likes Philly at home, but not with any great certainty. This is a low-confidence pick with only 76 percent of the hive mind’s collective brainpower behind it. Given the teams’ relative performances so far — and yes it’s early, but the Giants have been bad — the swarm must really believe you throw out the record books when rivals meet.
To that end, the swarm actually likes the Giants to keep the score within the spread, meaning the Eagles can only win by less than a touchdown. Again, it’s not a pick overflowing with confidence, as just 75 percent of the swarm’s brainpower was behind it. This is a game to be careful with for all involved, basically.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.
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.