March Madness: Will Kansas Make the Sweet Sixteen? A.I. Predicts

Kansas Athletics on Facebook

The top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks had little trouble with the 16 seed Penn Quakers in the opening round. Will they have more trouble with a team whose seed is in the single digits?

That team, in this case, is Seton Hall, as the eighth-seeded Pirates defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack in a game that had so, so, so many fouls. Hopefully their second round tilt against Kansas will have slightly cleaner play.

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.

Picking before the tournament, the swarm predicted Seton Hall would lose to North Carolina State, hence this matchup. Still, given the hive mind predicts Kansas will win with high confidence and 82 percent brainpower, so the Jayhawks remain a fairly safe bet regardless of opponent.

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 7:10 p.m. on TBS.

Related Tags