Steelers vs. Saints: Preview and Prediction for Roethlisberger vs. Brees 

A "swarm" of 28 NFL enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make their prediction

by T.E. Andrews
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire

Like Lazarus and Jon Snow, the Steelers are back from the dead after last week’s surprising win over the Patriots, which halted a three-game losing streak (and none too soon, given that Pittsburgh clings to a half-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North). As Tyrion Lannister [taught us](, death is so… final, while life is full of possibilities. The Steelers’ reward for escaping the hereafter arrives in the form of a road trip to the Big Easy, which promises to be anything but.

At 12-2, the Saints have locked up the NFC South division title and now look to secure home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, although they have looked mortal in recent weeks, having scored 13 points or fewer in two of their last three games. Do we believe in the Steelers enough to pick them over the Saints? Having slain the dragon by beating New England last week, yes, we do. Steelers 27, Saints 24, is my prediction, but how does a hive-mind of NFL experts acting as an artificial intelligence predict this Week 16 match-up?

To predict the result of this Week 16 match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence. A “swarm” of 28 NFL enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make their prediction, and 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 you can see in the replay above, the swarm has low confidence that the Saints will win against the Steelers on Sunday in this Week 16 match-up.

The Steelers play at the Saints at 4:25 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.

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:

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

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