A Swarm Responds to Black Friday

Think about Black Friday for a moment. What comes to mind?

For better or worse, two images define this uniquely American event. First, there’s the unfortunate videos of sleep-deprived shoppers storming big box stores in search of deals. Second, we have the endless parade of talking heads on TV projecting retail sales.

But, if there is one voice missing from the 24/7 coverage of Black Friday it’s the consumers themselves. One reason for this absence is the difficulty in capturing public sentiment. How can groups speak with one voice when polls and surveys are so often mistaken?

This is where SWARM INTELLIGENCE can offer insights. By allowing groups to actually think together in real-time to answer questions and make predictions, the technology of swarming delivers insights that polls and surveys struggle to reveal.

In the run-up to Black Friday, researchers at Unanimous AI used their swarming platform UNU to ask a real-time swarm of nearly 50 shoppers a critical question: “Will Americans spend more or less this season?”  Here’s a replay of the response:

black friday ZOOM

As you can see, swarms differs from polls in that respondents work together, constantly reassessing their position to find consensus. In just seconds, they converge on an optimal answer that reflects the confidence and conviction of everyone in the group.

With so much excitement around the latest technologies, we also asked the Swarm to offer opinions on the best gifts and products for this holiday season. In the replay below, the swarm predicted the hottest high-tech product this winter:

The Swarm revealed a fairly unconventional preference. While drones, tablets and iWatches also received strong support, it’s clear from the replay that VR Headsets came out on top.  This surprised us, that’s why we asked a group intelligence – to get new insights.

We won’t know the accuracy of this prediction for months, but UNU has a track record of beating the odds. So far this year, swarms have accurately predicted events ranging from the Super Bowl and Stanley Cup, to the Oscars and Golden Globes.

One thing is clear about Swarm Intelligence technology – it’s an innovation that aims to encourage the media to treat the public with more respect, tapping their collective intelligence rather than viewing them as a herd of cattle to be manipulated.

Want to try Swarming? Great. If you fill out the form below, the team at UNU will add you to our growing Beta program.  There are swarms forming on every topic from sports to politics to gaming.  It’s fun, free, and totally anonymous…