The New England Patriots are, shocker of shocks, once again the class of the AFC East, racing out to a 9-2 record on the strength of seven straight wins. The Buffalo Bills inexplicably bench a decent quarterback for a fifth-round rookie while still in contention for a playoff spot. You’re never going to believe this, but a hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predict the Patriots will win Sunday.
Thanks to the New York Giants’ miserably handled benching of Eli Manning, the Bills might not have the single most embarrassing quarterback controversy of any New York-based team. (Then again, the Giants do play in New Jersey, so this is all yours, Bills.) But the out-of-nowhere benching of Tyrod Taylor while the Bills were still extremely in contention for the playoffs, only to have rookie Nathan Peterman unfairly put in a spot he wasn’t at all ready for… yeah, this has been a mess. Taylor is back — for now, because coach Sean McDermott still won’t commit! — but if anyone was hoping this would be the year the Bills pull off some late-season magic and unseat the Patriots with a couple shocking rivalry wins, maybe best to keep waiting.
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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. 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.
The hive mind predicts the Patriots will win with high confidence and 92 percent brainpower. Not a whole lot of doubt here!
The swarm predicts the Patriots will win by 10 to 12 points, with 76 percent brainpower behind the pick. That’s a bit higher than Vegas, which has New England by 8.5 points.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.