March Madness: Will North Carolina Beat Lipscomb? A.I. Predicts

North Carolina looks to become the first team since Florida in 2007 to repeat as national champions. Their journey back to the title game begins with the 15-seeded Lipscomb Bison.

The Tar Heels’ arch-rivals, the Duke Blue Devils, have suffered the sting of a 15-over-2 upset. The Tar Heels look to avoid that most ignominious of fates as they start their title defense. A hive mind of college basketball 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. 

Unanimous A.I.

The hive mind confidently gives North Carolina the win in this showdown with 96 percent of its brainpower. The odds of Lipscomb pulling something out of this are slim to none.

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 Friday at 2:45 p.m. Eastern in Charlotte, North Carolina on CBS.

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