March Madness: Will Xavier Beat Florida State? A.I. Predicts

Xavier Musketeers on Facebook

The Xavier Musketeers were one of the top seeds that didn’t suffer a historic upset in the tournament’s opening round. Now they get to play a ninth-seeded Florida State Seminoles team that wouldn’t mind handing its opponent a still shocking defeat.

Both teams won easily in their first games. Xavier took some early blows from 16 seed Texas Southern before turning up the offense, winning 102-83, while Florida State won going away in a 67-54 defeat of the Missouri Tigers. A hive mind of fans predicts who wins their match-up and goes onto the Sweet Sixteen.

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 Xavier here, picking them with high confidence and 89 percent of the swarm’s collective 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 8:40 p.m. on TNT.

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