March Madness: Will Auburn Beat College of Charleston? A.I. Predicts

The Auburn Tigers have had their ups and downs this season, posting a huge turnaround from last year to emerge as SEC co-champions… while also being the subjects of an ongoing FBI investigation. After all that, can they put together some March Madness magic?

To do that, the Tigers must first defeat the College of Charleston Cougars. Can the 13-seeded Cougars pose any problems for Auburn? A hive mind of fans picks 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 predicts Auburn will win with high confidence, but this pick was made with a fairly low 73 percent of its collective brainpower. The swarm is pretty certain Auburn will walk away the victors, but there’s still 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 on Friday at 7:27 p.m. Eastern in San Diego on truTV.

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