March Madness: Will Tennessee Beat Wright State? A.I. Predicts

Tennessee Athletics

The Tennessee Volunteers had one of the biggest turnarounds this season, improving from 16-16 the year before to emerge as co-champions of the Southeastern Conference.

Can third-seeded Tennessee build on that regular season success with a victory over the Wright State Raiders in the first round of March Madness? A hive mind of fans has a 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 likes Tennessee to win here, picking the Volunteers with high confidence. The pick was made with a relatively low 79 percent brainpower, leaving some small room for an upset.

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 12:40 p.m. Eastern in Dallas on truTV.

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