Until recently, the human species has been unable to take advantage of this fundamental biological technique, for we didn’t evolve the ability to swarm. Enter Unanimous A.I., a Silicon Valley startup founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur and researcher Dr. Louis Rosenberg. The core question Rosenberg set out to answer was: Can humans swarm, and if so can we amplify our intelligence beyond the ability of individuals? The answer appears to be a resounding yes.
Unanimous spent the last two years building a swarm intelligence platform called UNU that enables groups to get together as online swarms — combining their thoughts, opinions, and intuitions in real-time to answer questions, make predictions, reach decisions, and even play games as a unified collective intelligence. To quantify how smart these UNU swarms really are, researchers at Unanimous regularly convene swarms and ask them to make predictions on high profile events, testing whether or not many minds are truly better than one.
UNU has made headlines in recent months by predicting the Oscars better than the experts, even besting the renowned forecasters at FiveThirtyEight. UNU also surprised the sports world by predicting the NCAA college bowl games with 70% accuracy against the spread, earning +34% return on Vegas odds. But still, the fact that average people could use UNU to amplify their collective intelligence so dramatically was met with cautious resistance.
Enter Hope Reese, a reporter from TechRepublic. Two weeks ago, she challenged Unanimous A.I. to use UNU to predict the winners of the Kentucky Derby.