March Madness: Will Clemson Beat New Mexico State? A.I. Predicts

The Clemson Tigers far exceeded expectations this season, beating preseason projections that had them near the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Can they keep the good times rolling with a deep run in March Madness?

To do that, the 5-seed Tigers will need to defeat the 12-seed New Mexico State Aggies, who are looking to pull the NCAA’s traditional 12-over-5 upset. A hive mind of fans has its own prediction as to which team will meet.

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 predicts Clemson will move forward in the tournament with high confidence. This decision was made with 82 percent of the the hive mind’s brainpower, making it likely that New Mexico St. won’t be making it out of this round.

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 9:57 p.m. Eastern in San Diego on truTV.

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