The New England Patriots are the top team in the AFC, but they can give away home-field advantage if they lose Sunday’s game to the division rival New York Jets. A hive mind of about 30 NFL fans predicts the Patriots will win Sunday.
The playoff scenario here is dead simple. If the Patriots win, they finish 13-3 and lock up the top seed in the AFC, meaning they host every game on their side of the Super Bowl bracket. But the Pittsburgh Steelers can still overtake them if the Patriots slip up here. Considering the Steelers are taking on the 0-15 Cleveland Browns, the Patriots should probably best view this as a must-win game. New England is only in this position because they lost one late-season game out of nowhere to the Miami Dolphins — if not for that loss, they would have already clinched. Can another AFC East foe rise up and ruin New England’s day?
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 swarm doesn’t see much trouble for New England here, picking them to win with high confidence and 97 percent brainpower behind the pick.
The swarm likes the Patriots to win by 10 to 12 points, with 83 percent brainpower. Vegas actually favors them by a whopping 15.5 points.
The game kicks off 1 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS.