The Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots would both probably like to forget about last week, where they struggled against teams they probably should have beaten with ease. A hive mind of 35 NFL fans like New England to shake off any demons here, picking the Patriots to win Sunday.
That’s fair enough, really, considering only Carolina actually lost last week, falling 34-13 to a previously winless New Orleans Saints squad. The Patriots had a much better showing, squeaking out a close win over the struggling Houston Texans. Neither team played up to expectations, but the Patriots have long had an annoying habit of not letting that stop them from winning games.
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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. Most recently, the swarm went a perfect 7-0 in its most recommended picks for last week’s English Premier League slate.
This is a seriously certain pick for the swarm, as 96 percent of its collective brainpower backs New England with high confidence. With the Patriots at home in Foxborough, that’s fair enough.
A nine-point spread is big, and you can see the swarm is seriously unsure at the outset which way to go with this one — it even moves toward Carolina initially. Ultimately, though, the hive mind throws low confidence support behind the Patriots to cover the spread, albeit with just 64 percent brainpower, which is seriously low. Best to be careful with this one.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.