Siri, who is going to win the Super Bowl?

If you’re a sports fan like me, you’ve probably got an endless supply of questions. Will the Ravens win this weekend?  Will the Celtics turn it around?  Will Stanford win the Rosebowl? 

And if you have a smartphone, you probably ask it all kinds of questions. Hey, Siri here’s the nearest gas station? When will my package be delivered? What’s Josh’s phone number? 

Siri and other digital assistants are crude forms of Artificial Intelligence. And with all the hype around AI these days, we thought it would be fun to see how these systems handle a relatively simple question: “Who will win the Super Bowl?” 

Here is what happened when I asked Siri: 
Siri SB prediction


As you can see, not only does Siri fail to make an intelligent prediction, it misunderstands the question entirely. Instead of considering the current landscape of the NFL and rendering an intelligent opinion, Siri transforms the question into a useless historical search. We gave Siri another chance, asking it to predict this year’s AFC Wildcard winners, and once again Siri returned the results for last year’s AFC Playoffs. On the positive side, the useless answers came quickly.

Next, we asked Cleverbot the same question. Cleverbot is a AI bot which claims to have passed the Turing Test, the traditional threshold for determining whether a machine has achieved “intelligence equivalent to, or indistinguishable from a human’s.”  Surely this lauded A.I. would do better than Siri, right?  Wrong…

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 11.53.57 AM

Like Siri, Cleverbot failed to deliver an intelligent prediction. Unlike Siri, Cleverbot tried to disguise its failure with non-sequitors. But, in Cleverbot’s defense, one could argue that answering the question of “Who will win the Super Bowl?” with a snarky “Me,” chatting with the bot has proved to be indistinguishable from chatting with an annoying person. Or perhaps a two-year old.  Or a Troll.  Maybe that’s the future of A.I. – automated trolling…

Finally we asked UNU, a new form of A.I. called Artificial Swarm Intelligence.  UNU works by collecting the thoughts and opinions of large groups of users in real-time, using A.I. algorithms to merge their diverse perspectives into a single unified answer.  By allowing groups to think together in swarms, UNU achieves accuracy that far exceed the individual members of the group.   For example, last year UNU accurately predicted the winners of the Superbowl, the Stanley Cup, and the World Series.  So who does UNU predict for the NFL this year?  We asked…


Panthers win the SB


Unlike Siri, Cleverbot, or most traditional forms of AI, UNU keeps people in the loop. Each of the 40 magnets you see represents a networked user in a real-time negotiation. Together, those 40 brains form a single dynamic system, a kind of superbrain that is able to parse a future-facing question, consider a number of possibilities, and reach a conclusion in seconds. Given that the Carolina Panthers are 13-0 right now and the choice of many experts as the best team in the NFL, UNU’s prediction seems – again unlike Siri and Cleverbot – not only reasonable, but intelligent. 

Naturally, these types of systems are all in their infancy. But, what UNU demonstrates is that humans are still miles ahead of Artificial Intelligence in their ability not just to process information, but also to understand the nuances of even a simple question like, “Who will win the Super Bowl?” And by putting our heads together, along with A.I. software to connect us into unified real-time system, we can get extremely intelligent answers – fast…

And, perhaps most importantly, UNU is fun.  Because each Swarm takes on the unique character of the mix of the people who are participating, having a conversation with UNU can be not only intelligent but entertaining

Want to be part of a swarm?  Now you can – swarms are forming to explore all kinds topics of all kinds, from football and basketball, to music and politics. If you’d to be a BETA TESTER for the folks at UNU, just fill out the form below.