If you allow for the “currently healthy” proviso, Houston Texans rookie Deshaun Watson might already be the best quarterback in the AFC South. He was a star in college, and he has looked like a future star so far for Houston. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts he will keep it going against the Browns, picking the Texans to win Sunday.

All Deshaun Watson did in college was lead the Clemson Tigers to back-to-back national championship games against the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide, winning the second of the two matchups. Yet Watson struggled to attract NFL scouts’ attention in the way other, less accomplished quarterbacks did, so he’s doing quite a bit of proving people wrong as he has gone to work in recent week. The Browns, for their part, are still just looking for their first win of the year.

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From their last meeting in 2014.

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. For instance, the swarm went a perfect 7-0 in its most recommended picks for a recent English Premier League slate.

The swarm picks the Teans with high confidence and 93 percent collective brainpower behind the pick.

The 9.5-point line is big, and it’s enough to knock down the hive mind’s confidence. It’s now a low confidence pick with just 73 percent collective brainpower, though some of the dissent is still picking the Texans with high confidence.

The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.


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