Who Will Win Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans? A.I. Predicts

It's one big battle of the backups.

Getty Images / Christian Petersen

Two teams wrecked by injury face off Sunday as the Arizona Cardinals visit the Houston Texans. With both teams out of contention and their future on hold… yeah, this is a sad one. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Texans will win.

There’s a version of this game that could have been been spectacular: David Johnson, maybe the best running back in the league! Veteran gunslinger Carson Palmer! All-world defensive end J.J. Watt! Rookie mega-sensation Deshaun Watson! But alas, all are injured and likely gone for the year, leaving us in the hands of the likes of Drew Stanton — or maybe Blaine Gabbert! — and Tom Savage. Oh, joy.

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Getty Images / Stephen Dunn

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. About 30 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.

Unanimous A.I.

The hive mind likes Houston to win here, albeit with low confidence and just 76 percent brainpower behind the pick.

Unanimous A.I.

The hive mind predicts Houston will win by four to six points, with 81 percent brainpower behind the prediction. The Vegas line currently favors the Texans by just 1.5 points.

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

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