It’s almost too ridiculous. The Kansas City Chiefs started 5-0. The Los Angeles Chargers started 0-4. Yet a pair of wild reversals of fortune have both teams at 7-6, set to face off Saturday night for the AFC West lead. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Chargers will win.
The Chiefs managed to stave off total catastrophe last week by beating the Oakland Raiders, the other AFC West still at least tenuously in the playoff picture. But the fall from 5-0 to 7-6 is disastrous no matter how you look at it, one only compounded by the Chargers going 7-2 over their past nine games to give themselves a chance at stealing a division crown that Kansas City once looked set to run away with.
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 an English Premier League slate earlier this season.
The swarm predicts the Chargers will win, albeit with low confidence and 84 percent brainpower.
The hive mind sees the Chargers winning by four to six points. The current Vegas line has this as a pick’em, meaning neither team is favored.
The game kicks off 8:30 p.m. Eastern Saturday on the NFL Network.