March Madness: Will Kansas Beat Clemson? A.I. Predicts

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The Kansas Jayhawks survived key injury and a general sense they’re one of the weaker elite teams this year to become one of only two top seeds to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Having avoiding Virginia and Xavier’s fate, can the Jayhawks keep it going and reach the Elite Eight?

To do that, they must defeat the fifth-seeded Clemson Tigers, who absolutely destroyed Auburn in perhaps the most impressive rout of opening weekend. A hive mind of fans predicts who will emerge victorious.

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 likes Kansas here, predicting a Jayhawks victory with high confidence and a decently high 84 percent brainpower behind the pick.

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 7:07 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

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