The Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals are a combined 4-9 on the season. Neither team is exactly good, but the Bengals are a two-win team with signs of life, while the Colts are… well, Andrew Luck might come back sometime soon. A hive mind of about 35 NFL fans predict the Bengals will win Sunday.
To understand the difference between the two teams, consider who the Colts have managed to get their two wins against. Their only wins have come by a narrow six points against the winless Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. The Cincinnati Bengals have also beaten the Browns, but by a much healthier 24 points, and they have also defeated the decent Buffalo Bills.
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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 swarm likes the Bengals to win, albeit with some reservations. Cincinnati is a low confidence pick with 81 percent collective brainpower behind the choice.
The addition of a big 10-point line is enough to flip things toward the Colts, with Indianapolis a low confidence pick. There’s still plenty who want to pick the Bengals, accounting for the low 76 percent collective brainpower.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.