Here’s what yesterday’s swarm intelligence AMA predicted about the future of politics

swarm intelligence reddit answers dn sc 83 08192
PH2 BUNGE / Creative Commons
Remember that swarm intelligence AI program that correctly predicted the Kentucky Derby superfecta a couple weeks ago? Well just yesterday, the very same advanced swarm intelligence system set upon Reddit yesterday for one of the site’s infamous “Ask Me Anything” sessions, in which Reddit users were invited to ask any question about politics. As redditors submitted these questions, users on the swarm intelligence platform UNU collaborated to provide answers in real time. Although we’ll have to wait some time to determine if UNU’s predictions were correct, the responses –and the questions– offer a glimpse into public sentiment and concern.

UNU chose to consider political questions in light of the 2016 presidential election – a press release even claimed the election would be the sole topic of consideration. But, perhaps due to the already bizarre primaries, only two of the top ten questions related to the election.

Before we dive into the questions and answers, it helps to understand who exactly participated in the swarm. The UNU users “were volunteers who responded to an online ad,” CEO Louis Rosenberg told Digital Trends. “The swarm varied in size during the session but, all told, there were about 300 participants during the AMA.” Here’s how the demographics broke down, courtesy of Unanimous AI:

Age Demographics:

  • 25% – 18 to 25
  • 50% – 26 to 36
  • 26% – 36 and up

Gender Demographics:

  • 59% Male
  • 41% Female

Political Party

  • 22% Republican
  • 42% Democrat
  • 36% Independent

Highest Level of Education

  • 10% Graduate Degree
  • 40% Bachelors Degree
  • 10%  Associates Degree
  • 23% Junior College
  • 17%  No College

War seemed to be on everybody’s mind. From questions about North Korean aggression to Pakistan-India tensions, four of the top ten questions asked UNU to predict if war was imminent.

The swarm had a generally optimistic outlook here: North Korea will not start a nuclear war, and Pakistan and India will not engage in a nuclear conflict in the next decade. We may, however, see World War III in the next 50 years, and a war between great powers will erupt in the next 15. UNU arrived at each of these predictions with 50-100 percent confidence.

The War on Drugs was another hot topic and UNU was split in its predictions. Although, the swarm thought California will fully legalize marijuana for recreational use by the end of this year, there is no chance that the United States will end its war on drugs by 2020.

As far as the election is concerned, UNU said voter turnout will be driven by dislike of a candidate more than it will by support for a candidate, while jobs and the economy will be more important factors than immigration, foreign policy, terrorism, favor for candidates, or distrust of political insiders.

Though many of the sessions depicted disagreement between the UNU users, the swarm arrived at two answers with hardly any pause: Donald Trump will appoint Chris Christie as his running mate and there is absolutely no chance for campaign finance reform in an upcoming presidency.

If these answers leave you cynical about the prospects of humanity, find solace in knowledge that you are not alone. Indeed, the second most up-voted question involved getting the hell off of Earth – UNU users were quick to say that a manned mission to Mars will launch within the next three decades.


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