BBC: How AI can help us harness our ‘collective intelligence’
There are already promising examples of how AI can help us better pool our unique capabilities. San Francisco start-up Unanimous AI has built an online platform that helps guide group decisions. They’ve looked to an unlikely place to guide their AI: the way honeybees make collective decisions.
“We went back to basics and said, ‘How does nature amplify the intelligence of groups?’,” says CEO Louis Rosenberg. “What nature does is form real-time systems, where the groups are interacting all at once together with feedback loops. So, they’re pushing and pulling on each other as a system, and converging on the best possible combination of their knowledge, wisdom, insight and intuition.”
Their Swarm AI platform presents groups with a question and places potential answers in different corners of their screen. Users control a virtual magnet with their mouse and engage in a tug of war to drag an ice hockey puck to the answer they think is correct. The system’s algorithm analyses how each user interacts with the puck – for instance, how much conviction they drag it with or how quickly they waver when they’re in the minority – and uses this information to determine where the puck moves. That creates feedback loops in which each user is influenced by the choice and conviction of the others allowing the puck to end up at the answer best reflecting the collective wisdom of the group.
Several academic papers and high-profile clients who use the product back up the effectiveness of the Swarm AI platform. In one recent study, a group of traders were asked to forecast the weekly movement of several key stock market indices by trying to drag the puck to one of four answers — up or down by more than 4%, or up and down by less than 4%. With the tool, they boosted their accuracy by 36%.
Credit Suisse has used the platform to help investors forecast the performance of Asian markets; Disney has used it to predict the success of TV shows; and Unanimous has even partnered with Stanford Medical School to boost doctors’ ability to diagnose pneumonia from chest X-rays by 33%.
About Unanimous AI
Unanimous AI builds technologies that amplify human intelligence using technologies modeled on the biological principle of Swarm Intelligence. Our award-winning Swarm platform is currently used by Fortune 500 companies around the world for everything from financial forecasting and market research, to optimized group decision-making and prioritization. Also, Unanimous has recently launched Sportspicker AI, the world’s first sports intelligence service that combines human insight with AI algorithms. #NSFFUNDED