The NFC’s best team of the 1980s goes up against its best team of the 1990s on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys square off. It’s not quite as good a match-up as it might once have been, but still. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predict the Cowboys will win Sunday.
The two teams are a combined 2-9 on the season, though that feels a little unfair to the Cowboys, who have faced a tough schedule so far as they look to return to the playoffs. It’s even vaguely unfair to the San Francisco 49ers, who are 0-6 but have found so many different ways to just lose. No guarantees on the qquality of this particular game, but at least the uniforms look iconic together, right?
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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.
Dallas can only pick up a low confidence pick against the winless San Francisco 49ers, though at least the relatively low 77 percent brainpower behind the pick is mostly an indication of how many dissenters picked the Cowboys with high confidence.
The six-point line makes it much harder for the swarm to pick, with the eventual low confidence Dallas pick having just 69 percent brainpower behind it. Best to stay away from this one, basically.
The game kicks off 4:05 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.