The Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints both gave the league the two biggest surprises of Week 1. The Browns, last year’s 0-16 laughing stock, managed to eek out a tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. This 0-0-1 start marks the best start for the Browns in years. Let that sink in. Its defensive line, led by Miles Garrett, was a revelation, and this team shows signs of life, despite Hue Jackson being their head coach.
The Saints were supposed to whip the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, but a dose of Fitz-Magic sucker-punched the Drew Brees and Co. The Saints weren’t bad as much as they were stunned. With Super Bowl hopes this season, they can’t afford to start 0-2.
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.
A swarm of 27 football enthusiasts is convinced that 0-2 start isn’t in the cards, for the Sean Payton-led team. Cleveland surprised people in Week 1, but this is a team that is far from where they want to be. The Saints will be playing with a sense of urgency, and the Browns are going to get shelled in New Orleans 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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