March Madness: Will Gonzaga Beat Florida State? A.I. Predicts

A player from Gonzaga during a basketball match
Gonzaga Men's Basketball on Facebook

It hasn’t been easy for the four seed Gonzaga Bulldogs, but they survived an upset bid from UNC-Greensboro and a tight game from the Ohio State Buckeyes to make the Sweet Sixteen.

Their next test is the ninth-seeded Florida State Seminoles, who became the second team — and the first non-16 seed! — to defeat a number one seed when they took down Xavier. A hive mind of fans predicts who will win this matchup.

To predict the result of this and other games, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence to forecast the week’s bracket. About 60 college basketball 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.

Unanimous A.I.

The swarm likes the Bulldogs to advance, predicting a Gonzaga victory with high confidence and 84 percent brainpower behind the pick.

Read more from Inverse: The Perfect NCAA Bracket Is A.I.’s Biggest Sports Challenge Yet

Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our previous 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.

The game tips off Thursday at 9:59 p.m. Eastern on TBS.

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