The Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders both made triumphant returns to the playoffs last year, only for their seasons to end in heartbreaking fashion. It hasn’t been any better this year, with both on the outside looking in of the postseason. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Cowboys will win Sunday.
For both teams, the road to the playoffs is, if not simple, then at least clear: They can’t lose anymore. A 3-0 finish for either team wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot, but a 10-6 finish in the NFC or a 9-7 record in the AFC is pretty much the bare minimum of what’s going to do it for the respective teams. That has to start Sunday night, with one team likely eliminated by the end of proceedings.
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 Dallas will win, although only with low confidence and 84 percent brainpower.
The hive mind predicts the Cowboys will win by four to six points, with 84 percent brainpower behind that pick. The Vegas line has Dallas by three points.
The game kicks off 8:30 p.m. Eastern Sunday on NBC.