March Madness: Will Michigan Beat Houston? A.I. Predicts

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The Michigan Wolverines played perhaps the opening round’s most grindingly dominant game with a 61-47 victory over the Montana Grizzlies. Can they repeat that trick in the second round and move onto the Sweet Sixteen?

Their opponent will be the Houston Cougars, who defeated the San Diego State Aztecs to win their first NCAA tournament game since Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, and the rest of Phi Slama Jama led the team to multiple Final Four appearances in the Eighties. A hive mind of 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 bracket. 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 likes Michigan to win this one, though only with low confidence and 79 percent of its collective brainpower, which isn’t especially high. This one has some upset potential.

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 Saturday at 9:40 p.m. Eastern on TBS.

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