A swarm intelligence similar to the one that predicted Oscar winners and Kentucky Derby finishers has come to nearly unanimous conclusions about the presidential potential of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. From social issues to trustworthiness and ethics, the swarm spoke loud and clear, expressing practically the same sentiment for both candidates — extreme pessimism.
The swarm consisted of 85 Democratic, Republican, or independent American voters who were asked to answer identical questions on Clinton and Trump through the swarm intelligence platform UNU. The speed at which they came to a conclusion helps calculate the percentage of “brainpower” for a particular swarm. Anywhere between 70 and 85 people participated in each round.
To begin, the swarm was asked whether either candidate could calm America’s social unrest. For both Trump and Clinton, the swarm quickly arrived at the decision that neither candidate was up to the task — though there proved to be three percent less brainpower in the response to Clinton, translating into more confidence for her.
When the swarm was asked how confident it was that Clinton or Trump could “get things done,” it responded with three percent confidence in Clinton and zero percent faith in Trump.
Speaking of unemployment, the swarm remained neutral on Clinton’s ability to create jobs, suggesting that there would be no change in unemployment during her presidency. It viewed Trump far less positively, concluding that unemployment would increase drastically during his presidency. However, with just 31 percent brainpower, the swarm arrived at that answer with some struggle.
Neither Trump nor Clinton proved to be at all trustworthy based on the swarm results, which also predicted that there was a 100 percent chance either candidates would experience an ethics scandal during his or her presidency. Clinton does support environmental issues a little bit, according to the swarm, which thinks Trump couldn’t care less about those issues.
Perhaps the most telling and unsettling conclusion came at the end of the session, when the swarm said that its vote for president is more driven by the lesser of two evils than strong support for a particular candidate.
It’s important to note that the UNU swarm intelligence is a particular subset of voters and not representative of the public. These participants are people who are both digitally engaged and politically interested. And the sample of just 70-85 participants cannot express the complexity of American politics and political support.
“Every swarm intelligence has its own unique personality, expertise, and intellect that depends on the unique mix of people who form part of the system,” Unanimous A.I. CEO Louis Rosenberg previously told Digital Trends.
Still, for all the outstanding predictions that the system’s swarm sessions have made, Rosenberg insists it isn’t psychic. “It simply makes better predictions than the individuals who comprise it,” he said. For what it’s worth, let’s hope this swarm’s pessimistic predictions about Clinton and Trump turn out to be false.