Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson has been a revelation for the Houston Texans — at least to anyone who didn’t watch him beat Alabama in college football’s most recent national championship game. But now he faces the notoriously hard Seahawks defense on the road in Seattle. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predict the Seahawks will win Sunday.
Something has to give here, as the Seahawks have reestablished themselves as the NFL’s stingiest scoring defense during their current three-game winning streak, while Watson has thrown 12 touchdowns in four games. The smart money is on the rookie quarterback struggling against the Seahawks and their fans, the raucously loud 12th Man, but then if there’s any rookie who isn’t going to be fazed by the pressure, it’s the former Clemson star.
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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 Seattle here, with most of the hive mind pulling for the Seahawks with either low or high confidence. The hive mind ultimately settled on low confidence, with 75 percent brainpower behind the pick, but there’s not much support here for the Texans to be found.
Seattle has to win by a touchdown to cover the spread, and again the swarm feels only somewhat good about this. The final prediction is a low confidence pick with 73 percent collective brainpower, with more dissenters for the Texans this time around.
The game kicks off 4:05 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.