San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been a damn revelation since his midseason trade from the New England Patriots, going 4-0 for his new team. Will the playoff-bound Los Angeles Rams even stand in his way? A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Rams will win Sunday.
The 49ers — who, let’s not forget, started 1-10 before Garoppolo took the reins — had their most impressive win of the season last week when they took down the Jacksonville Jaguars, the AFC South champs, in a wild 44-33 game. Once tabbed as Tom Brady’s potential successor, Garoppolo now has a chance, however small, to follow in the footsteps of a couple other Hall of Fame quarterbacks who previously steered San Francisco to glory. Yes, we’re getting wildly ahead of ourselves, but, again, a potential 5-0 finish for a team that started 1-10? This is bonkers and ridiculous and fun in a way the NFL frequently isn’t. The Los Angeles Rams may not look to make this too much of a contest, having announced they will rest at least some of their starters, but this is still a team that is 11-4 and NFC South champ for the first time since 2003. This figures to still be at least a little bit of a test for Garoppolo and company.
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 game kicks off 4:25 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.