March Madness 2018: Will Michigan Beat Montana? A.I. Predicts

Michigan Athletics

The Michigan Wolverines enter the NCAA tournament on a nine-game winning streak, including an impressive defense of the Big Ten tournament championship. Now they turn their attention to the Montana Grizzlies in the opening round.

Can the Big Ten champs make short work of the Big Sky champs, or is an upset a possibility? A hive mind of college basketball 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 Michigan to win this. It’s a pick with high confidence and 90 percent brainpower, meaning it’s 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 on Thursday at 9:50 p.m. Eastern in Wichita, Kansas on TBS.

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