March Madness: Will Florida Beat St. Bonaventure? A.I. Predicts

The six-seed Florida Gators live and die by the three, managing big victories over the likes of Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Auburn, and Kentucky when their shots are falling. But they have suffered bad losses when their players are cold from behind the arc.

That could mean trouble against the 11-seeded St. Bonaventure Bonnies, who already have a win in March Madness by defeating their play-in opponent, the UCLA Bruins. A hive mind of fans predicts who will emerge victorious.

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 predicted with low confidence that the Florida will move on to the next round. The hive mind favored the Gators with 81 percent of its brain power, meaning that it doesn’t completely count out St. Bonaventure.

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 9:57 p.m. Eastern in Dallas on truTV.

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