The Oakland Raiders struggled as star quarterback Derek Carr dealt with injuries, but his return to form last week was enough to get them past the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs. Can the Raiders repeat the trick against the surprisingly solid Buffalo Bills? A hive mind of about 35 NFL fans predicts the Bills will win Sunday.
The Raiders’ problems don’t entirely go back to Carr’s injury woes, as he was healthy when they lost an upset to Washington. But he looked damn good last week, and he now gets to face a Bills team has reached 4-2 but has looked porous on defense in recent weeks.
Subscribe to the Inverse newsletter. Trust us, we’re from the future.
To predict the result of this and other games, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s slate. More than 40 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. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk.
Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our previous article explains. For instance, the swarm went a perfect 7-0 in its most recommended picks for a recent English Premier League slate.
The swarm favors the home team here, picking the Buffalo Bills to win. It’s a low confidence pick, though, with just 73 percent of the swarm’s collective brainpower behind the choice.
The addition of a small 2.5-point spread didn’t alter the hive mind’s thinking much, with another low confidence prediction with 72 percent collective brainpower.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.