March Madness: Will Purdue Beat Texas Tech? A.I. Predicts

Purdue Men's Basketball on Facebook

Both the Purdue Boilermakers and the Texas Tech Raiders survived major upset bids in their second round games. But the two and three seeds survived in this year’s chalkiest regional by edging the Butler Bulldogs and Florida Gators respectively.

With those tests out of the way, the two teams face off with an opportunity to move on to the Elite Eight. Which will emerge victorious? A hive mind of fans has a prediction.

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.

The swarm isn’t entirely certain who will win here, but the consensus favors Purdue, albeit with low confidence and a relativley low 78 percent brainpower behind the prediction.

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 Friday at 9:59 p.m. Eastern on TBS.

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