Who Will Win San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington? A.I. Predicts

Washington might quietly be pretty good.

Getty Images / Stacy Revere

Washington is just 2-2 on the year, but they have just about the best 2-2 record a team could hope to have. The San Francisco 49ers are 0-5, even if their last four games were lost by a combined 11 points. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts Washington will winat home Sunday.

Seriously, look at Washington’s record: Their two losses came to the Philadelphia Eagles, arguably the best team in the NFC, and the Kansas City Chiefs, who enter this weekend the last undefeated team in the whole league. Their two wins have been solid defeats of the Los Angeles Rams and Oakland Raiders, who have both looked decent when not playing Washington or dealing with injuries. The 49ers, on the other hand, appear just utterly incapable of catching a break, notching narrow loss after narrow loss.

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From their last meeting in 2014.

Getty Images / Thearon W. Henderson

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.

Unanimous A.I.

The swarm feels pretty good about Washington here, picking them with high confidence. The 77 percent brainpower is a bit low, but most of the dissent is centered on the low confidence Washington pick. Very few are stumping for San Francisco here.

Unanimous A.I.

That 10-point spread, however, is a bit too rich for the hive mind’s blood, so it picks San Francisco instead. The swarm is uncertain, though, going only with the low confidence pick and 76 percent brainpower.

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

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