March Madness: Will Arkansas Beat Butler? A.I. Predicts NCAA Score

The Arkansas Razorbacks are back in March Madness for the third time in four years, their best string of success since legendary coach Nolan Richardson walked the sidelines.

Can the 7-seeded Razorbacks build on that with a tourney run? To do that, they will have to win against the 10-seeded Butler Bulldogs, who are limping into the tournament having lost six of their last nine. A hive mind of fans has a prediction for the matchup.

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.

We have an upset! The hive mind forecasts with low confidence that lower-seeded Butler will triumph in this match up. The swarm came to this conclusion with 83 percent of its brain power, meaning that Arkansas have a glimmer of hope.

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 Friday at 3:10 p.m. Eastern in Detroit on truTV.

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