The Seattle Seahawks have looked shockingly shaky so far this season, barely beating a winless San Francisco 49ers team last week. The Tennessee Titans are coming off a massive, 37-16 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars. But that’s not enough to convince a hive mind of more than 30 NFL fans to back the Titans in Nashville, instead picking Seattle to win Sunday.
It’s too much early to say the Seahawks are coasting on their reputation for past success, but this team has looked bad in the first two weeks, with quarterback Russell Wilson and the offensive line especially struggling. Tennessee’s offense, by contrast, came into its own in last week’s huge win. But was that proof that Tennessee is on the way up, or just that they were playing Jacksonville?
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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 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 hive mind sticks with Seattle, but only barely. You can see most of the magnets are clustered around picking either the Seahawks or the Titans with low confidence, with only 71 percent collective brainpower behind the eventual pick of Seattle.
If the swarm picked Seattle, it kind of had to back them as the underdog, as the line is 2.5 points in Tennessee’s favor. Even then the confidence isn’t super high, with only 77 percent of the swarm’s brainpower behind the pick.
The game kicks off 4:05 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.