March Madness: Will Duke Beat Rhode Island? A.I. Predicts

Duke Men's Basketball on Facebook

The second-seeded Duke Blue Devils sailed to an easy win over the 15-seed Iona Gaels in the first round. Now they look to return to the Sweet Sixteen with another big victory.

The team standing in their way is the seven-seed Rhode Island Rams, who edged past the Oklahoma Sooners in their opening game. 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 Duke to win this one without too much trouble, picking the Blue Devils with high confidence and 90 percent brainpower.

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 2:40 p.m. on CBS.

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