The Buffalo Bills notched big wins against the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons before coughing one up to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still looking for consistency on defense and trying to get star quarterback Jameis Winston healthy. There’s a lot of volatility there, but a hive mind of about 30 NFL fans feel good about Buffalo, predicting the Bills will win Sunday.
In one of those weird quirks of the schedule, it’s been almost a month since the last time the Bills actually played in Buffalo. Their road trip hasn’t been too intense — just a pair of away games and a bye — but it makes it all the more impressive the team is a very credible 3-2 so far. A win against the Buccaneers would keep the Bills right in the heart of the AFC East division race, especially when their two games against the Patriots aren’t until the season’s final five weeks. As for Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston’s health remains the big unanswered question.
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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 Louis 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 hive mind is surprisingly high on the Bills, picking them with high confidence. The collective brainpower behind the pick is a little low at 78 percent, but most of the dissent was still pulling toward the Bills, just with low confidence.
The hive mind was pretty much exactly evenly split between a high and low confidence pick for the Bills when the three-point spread was added. The swarm ultimately went with the low confidence pick, but this might as well be considered a medium confidence pick for the Bills to cover.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.