March Madness: Will Arizona Beat Buffalo? A.I. Predicts

Arizona Athletics

The Arizona Wildcats have survived a tumultuous season of FBI wiretaps and allegations against head coach Sean Miller, and they likely want nothing more than to thumb their noses at everyone with a deep March Madness run.

Can the fourth-seeded Wildcats get it started with a victory over the Buffalo Bulls, the champs of the Mid-American Conference? A hive-mind of college basketball fans have made their prediction.

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 50 college basketball 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.

Unanimous A.I.

The swarm picks Arizona to win with high confidence. The pick was made with 94 percent brainpower. This is close to a lock.

Read more from Inverse: The Perfect NCAA Bracket Is A.I.’s Biggest Sports Challenge Yet

Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our previous article explains. For instance, the swarm picked this year’s Oscar winners with 94 percent accuracy. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk.

The game tips off Thursday at 9:40 p.m. Eastern in Boise, Idaho on CBS.

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