Who Wins Lions at 49ers? A.I. Predicts

It doesn't look good for Detroit in the Lions' first home game of the season.

Flickr / Dave Hogg

The Lions’ Week 1 play was overshadowed by the breakout performance of New York Jets QB Sam Darnold, and it’s tough to know if the Lions were that bad, or the rookie was just that good. What we do know is that Darnold moved the ball well against the Lions defense and the Lions offense was unable to mount much of an attack. Going into Week 2, both sides are going to have to play better, though.

The San Francisco 49ers are looking to get back some of that preseason swagger they lost last week when the preemptive NFC favorites Minnesota Vikings stifled 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Biggest red flag? How inefficient the 49ers offense was inside the 20 yard line. If the 49ers are going to be the sleeper team everyone expects them to be, they’ll need to figure out a way to score TD’s inside the red zone.

To predict the result of this Week 2 match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. A group of NFL 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.

As the GIF above shows, a swarm of 28 NFL experts has 72 percent confidence that they have low confidence in a San Francisco victory by at least 6.5 points in the Sunday match-up. Despite a lackluster performance against the Vikings the Swarm was pretty convinced the 49ers will come out of this week with the W.

The Lions got carved up defensively and Garoppolo and head coach Kyle Shanahan are good enough to give the Lions at least the same level of problems the Jets did last week. Expect the 49ers to even up their record this weekend.

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.

In related news, Unanimous A.I. recently presented a scientific study of its ability to forecast games in the National Hockey League. In a 200-game, 20-week-long study of its Swarm AI in the NHL, it was able to easily outperform Las Vegas expectations, and its “Pick of the Week” was right 85 percent of the time, producing a 170 percent ROI. The paper, titled “Artificial Swarm Intelligence versus Vegas Betting Markets,” was presented at the at the IEEE Developments in eSystems Engineering Conference (DeSE 2018) this month at Downing College in Cambridge, England. In a press release issued with the study, co-author Gregg Wilcox says the technology can be applied to matters outside sports, too. “While it’s fun to predict sports, we are currently applying the same techniques to a wide variety of other domains, including financial forecasting, business forecasting, and medical diagnosis, all with positive results.”

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