The Detroit Lions must win out to have any shot of making the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals are preparing for life after longtime coach Marvin Lewis. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Lions will win Sunday.
Two of the NFL’s harder-luck franchises have experienced the two variations of a mediocre season. The Lions have been on the good side of mediocre, managing an 8-6 record that would probably have them in much better shape in any season where the NFC weren’t so top-heavy with excellent teams. But it has them on the outskirts of the playoffs at best and needing two more wins to have any shot. They have a good chance of that against the Bengals, who have been a bad kind of mediocre with a 5-9 record — one that looks a little better when you consider they started 0-3, maybe — and are dealing with Lewis’s decision to move on from the franchise at the end of the season after 15 years at the helm.
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. About 30 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 an English Premier League slate earlier this season.
The hive mind predicts the Lions will win with high confidence and 80 percent brainpower behind the pick.
The hive mind predicts the Lions will win by four to six points, a choice made with 79 percent brainpower. The Vegas line has the Lions by three.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on Fox.