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

Cincinnati Bearcats Mens Basketball on Facebook

The second-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats didn’t have too much drama to worry about in their opening round victory over the Georgia State Panthers. Can they take down another mid-major squad and advance to the Sweet Sixteen?

That next opponent is the seven-seed Nevada Wolfpack, who knocked off the Texas Longhorns in overtime in one of the first round’s most thrilling contests. A hive mind of college basketball fans predicts who wins.

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.

Picking before the tournament, the hive mind thought Texas would beat Nevada. Either way though, the swarm seems fairly good about a Cincinnati victory, splitting between a high and low confidence Bearcats prediction before choosing the latter with 83 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 Sunday at 6:10 p.m. Eastern on TNT.

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