March Madness: Will Loyola-Chicago Make the Final Four? A.I. Predicts

Loyola Ramblers Men's Basketball on Facebook

The Loyola-Chicago Rambers kept their magical March Madness run going with a last-second victory over the seven seed Nevada Wolfpack. Now all that stands in their way is… another team on a magical March Madness run coming off a last-second victory.

That would be the nine seed Kansas State Wildcats, who upset bracket favorite Kentucky to advance to the Elite Eight. Either Loyola-Chicago or Kansas State is headed to the Final Four.

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

Picking before the Sweet Sixteen games, the swarm correctly predicted Loyola-Chicago’s victory but missed on Kansas State beating Kentucky. Given how certain the hive mind was that Kentucky would prevail, does that mean we should transfer our confidence to the team that beat them, or is the new favorite the one the hive mind picked to make it here in the first place? At this point, maybe we just have to concede this particular regional — the home of the first ever 16-over-1 upset — is just too ridiculous to predict.

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 Saturday at 6:09 p.m. on TBS.

Related Tags