Swarm AI Improves Decision Making of Business Teams

Business teams using a unique AI system modeled after natural swarms demonstrate significantly higher decision-making skills in a new study from California Polytechnic and Unanimous AI

San Francisco, CA January 10, 2019

A new study published today by California Polytechnic State University and Unanimous AI showed that business teams, connected by AI algorithms, could significantly improve their collaborative decision-making abilities by amplifying social perceptiveness. The study showed with 99.9% confidence that networked teams, when connected by AI algorithms modeled after swarms in nature, showed significantly higher performance than either the individuals working alone or groups working by plurality vote.

These results were presented at the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) by Professor David Askay of Cal Poly. The study was conducted on 60 teams, each one tasked with taking a standard social intelligence test known as the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” (RME). The teams completed the test either by (i) working alone, (ii) collaborating by plurality vote, or (iii) connected over the internet using a technology called Swarm AI that is modeled after swarms in nature. Researchers used the RME test because prior studies have shown it to be a strong predictor of overall team effectiveness.


Swarm AI technology enables networked groups to make collective decisions as a real-time system capable of converging upon optimized insights. Working as individuals, the participants demonstrated a 33% error rate on the RME intelligence test. Using Swarm AI technology, that error rate dropped to less than 16%, meaning that working together as a swarm reduced their errors by more than half.

“Successful groups are able to converge on optimal decisions,” said Dr. David Askay, an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at California Polytechnic State University. “This study suggests than any team can exhibit significantly greater social perception – and therefore effectiveness – if they work together as a real-time swarm, moderated by AI algorithms.”

Swarm Intelligence, the science behind Swarm AI technology, is the reason why birds flock, bees swarm, and fish school – they are smarter together than alone. By forming closed-loop systems, these organisms produce insights, together in groups, that greatly exceed the abilities of any individual member.  While humans have not evolved this ability naturally, Swarm AI technology enables this artificially, allowing groups to amplify their intelligence by forming real-time swarms.

The published paper outlines many potential applications of Swarm AI technology for use among business teams, from making optimized decisions to more accurately forecasting how consumers will react to marketing messaging, product features, or sales tactics.  Future research is currently ongoing at California Polytechnic State University, exploring the potential benefits.

“We’ve seen Swarm AI technology amplify the predictive intelligence of groups in a number of different fields, from financial forecasting to medical diagnosis” said Dr. Louis Rosenberg, CEO and Chief Scientist at Unanimous AI and former Cal Poly Professor, “but this study shows that swarming can be just as effective at increasing a business team’s social awareness, which should inform significantly better decisions across a range of disciplines.”

This collaboration between Cal Poly and Unanimous AI has been nominated for “Best Paper” at the Hawaii International Conference for Systems Science.

Read the paper HERE.

About Unanimous AI
Unanimous AI pioneers innovative technologies to amplify the intelligence of business teams, combining the power of AI with the depth of human knowledge, wisdom and insight. Its Swarm AI technology is currently being used by Fortune 500 companies around the world for a wide range of applications, from forecasting sales to optimizing marketing campaigns.  In 2018, Swarm AI was recognized as SXSW’s “Artificial Intelligence Innovation of the Year.” For more about Unanimous AI, see the TED talk, “Hope for Humans in an AI World” or visit http://unanimous.ai

Would you like to participate in future predictions, experiments and studies? Unanimous AI holds several weekly Swarm Sessions across a variety of topics, from the NFL and English Premier League, to elections, the Oscars, and more.

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Want to learn more about our Swarm AI technology? Check out our TED talk below…