The Gonzaga Bulldogs finally broke through last year, reaching the national championship game before falling short against North Carolina. Can they take that final step this year?
To do that, the fourth-seeded Bulldogs need to win their opening round game against UNC — just make that UNC-Greensboro, not Chapel Hill. A hive mind of fans predicts who will win.
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.
The swarm likes Gonzaga to win here, picking them with high confidence and 87 percent accuracy.
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 1:30 p.m. Eastern in Boise, Idaho on TNT.