The battle for second place (the Queen in the North? The Prince in the North?) in the NFC North rages on Sunday. The Packers have lost three of their last four, most notably dropping last week’s Thursday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks in a game many tabbed as a de facto playoff elimination game. The loss ramps up the pressure on the 4-5-1 Packers, and may cost head coach Mike McCarthy his job. With games against the Rams, Patriots, and Seahawks, the Packers’ schedule for the month of October did them no favors, and the sledding doesn’t get much easier against the Vikings.
For their part, the Vikings continue to struggle against good-to-great teams, having lost a hard-fought game against the Bears last weekend (and with two of their other three losses coming at the hands of the Rams and Saints). Minnesota didn’t get on the scoreboard until the second half, and the Bears’ defense harassed quarterback Kirk Cousins into a 30-for-46 outing in which he threw two interceptions and was sacked twice. Meanwhile, the Vikings still can’t get the ground game going, as Chicago stuffed running back Dalvin Cook time and again, limiting him to a meager 12 yards on nine carries. The good news (for Minnesota) is that the Packers’ run defense is less stout; Green Bay is in the bottom half of the league in terms of rushing yards surrendered per game (26th out of 32). What does it add up to? A Vikings victory (we think?). Vikings 27, Packers 23 is my prediction, but how do a hive-mind of NFL experts see this one turning out?
To predict the result of this Week 12 match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence. Some 32 NFL enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make their prediction. As you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the result they thought was the most likely outcome. This is where it gets interesting: As a user sees the puck move toward a particular decision, it triggers a psychological response. They might readjust their thinking as the group builds toward a consensus. It’s an artificial intelligence, produced by human brains, working together as a swarm.
As the animation above shows, a swarm of 32 NFL experts has chosen Minnesota: Low Confidence as the winner of this Week 12 match-up.
The Packers play at the Vikings at 8:20 p.m. Eastern Sunday on NBC.
Here’s how Unanimous A.I. has predicted previous NFL games this season.
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: