The Minnesota Vikings saw their eight-game winning streak snapped last week against the Carolina Panthers. They couldn’t ask for a much better opportunity to get back on track than against the listless Cincinnati Bengals. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Vikings will win.
At 10-3, the Vikings have the NFC North crown sewn up in all but the most vanishingly technical of senses, considering the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers are both 7-6. The bigger prizes are a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs — including the Super Bowl, considering Minnesota is hosting this year — and to get those they need to stay ahead of the 9-4 teams in the NFC South and West divisions and find a way to catch back up to the 11-2 Philadelphia Eagles. The margins are razor-thin, but playing a bad Bengals team is about as much slack as Case Keenum and the Vikings could ask for.
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 Vikings will win with high confidence and 86 percent brainpower behind the prediction.
The hive mind predicts the Vikings will win by 10 to 12 points, with 86 percent brainpower behind that choice. The Vegas line has the Vikings by 10.5 points.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.