Who Wins Browns at Raiders? A.I. Predicts

How do a swarm of NFL experts thinking together predict this one?

by T.E. Andrews
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 18.0px Georgia} Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

With the Jets failing to patty cake the Baker man last Thursday night, the winless Raiders now get their shot in Oaktown this weekend. The story here is obviously Baker Mayfield making his first start as The Land’s new savior, now that LeBron left (again). Mayfield came on in relief for an injured Tyrod Taylor in last week’s game against the Jets and looked sharp, displaying better decision-making and escapability than he did on this fateful night in Fayetteville, Arkansas (available here). The rookie looked good, unlocking both the Jets’ defense and celebratory refrigerators full of free Budweiser, strategically placed in bars throughout Cleveland, to commemorate the Browns’ first win since 2016. Dilly dilly. Before last week, the last time the Browns had won a game was before Trump took office. Needless to say, a lot has happened since.

Meanwhile, the Raiders made noise in the offseason by hiring the Super Bowl-winning Jon Gruden as their head coach, but have fallen largely silent now that the actual games have begun. Oakland persuaded Gruden to leave the Monday Night Football broadcasting booth and don the silver and black by giving him a deal worth a reported $100 million over ten years. And yet, Gruden (whose players have likened to the Chucky doll of horror-movie fame) has only inspired fear among the Raider faithful, who no doubt hoped for a better ROI than last year’s 6-10 record. It’s difficult to calculate exactly how much owner Mark Davis has paid per win for Gruden, because only Vin Diesel can divide by zero.

Vegas, future home of the Raiders, favors the corsairs by a measly two-and-a-half points. Count on Baker’s legend to grow and the Brownies to rise to the occasion. Browns 27, Raiders 23, is my prediction, but how did a swarm of NFL experts thinking together predict this one?

To predict the result of this Week 4 match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. Some 33 NFL enthusiasts 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 decision, it triggered a psychological response. They readjusted their decision-making, building toward the consensus you see below. It’s an artificial intelligence produced by human brains working together as a swarm.

The Raiders are expected to win this game over the visiting Browns, but the swarm isn’t confident about it, at just 52 percent.

The Browns play at the Raiders at 4:05 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.

Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our this 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.”

Want to join the hive mind that picks NFL matches every week? Sign up to participate in future predictions.

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