Web

Not even Unanimous A.I. could predict March Madness

ai bracket busted fan swarm
Your March Madness bracket has already been hopelessly busted (don’t worry — there are no perfect CBS Sports or ESPN brackets left after Middle Tennessee’s huge upset victory over No. 2 Michigan State), but maybe this will make you feel better: not even swarm intelligence could have predicted this year’s already crazy results. Unanimous A.I., the company famous for leveraging machine learning with popular opinion to make shockingly accurate predictions, partnered with Marist College Center for Sports Communication this year to create Swarm Madness, a free contest for groups of people to use collective intelligence to predict the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Sadly, this time around, these predictions have been less than spot on. But hey, that’s the excitement of March Madness … right? 

The rather disappointing results (which had Texas beating Northern Iowa and Hawaii losing to California), were powered by Unanimous A.I.’s signature software platform, UNU, which basically operates under the assumption that many heads (plus machines) are better than one. But just because UNU hasn’t been all that successful in predicting the winners of the NCAA tournament thus far doesn’t mean that this has been a pointless exercise; rather, Marist College and Unanimous note, “all data collected from the contest will then be studied by a team of researchers at the college who will determine how effective and precise human swarms are at predicting sporting events.” The answer thus far is that it is neither very effective nor precise.

“We’ve seen the amazing power of UNU to predict everything from the Super Bowl and College Football playoffs and Bowl games to the Oscars, far outpacing ‘experts’ and individuals,” said Unanimous A.I. Chief Information Officer David Baltaxe. “There’s no better way to further examine the predictive power of swarms than through the NCAA tournament, one of the most widely predicted sporting events in the country.”

Participants in Swarm Madness were able to make selections for the tournament between March 14 and March 16, and the group with the most accurate prediction will win $1,000. Of course, how accurate anyone can really be at this point, with all the surprises so early in the series, has yet to be seen.

“This project provides the ideal platform to examine the much discussed construct of collective intelligence around the massive social construct of spectator sports,” said Keith Strudler, director of Marist’s Center. “Just as importantly, this partnership is a perfect example of the potential of industry/academic partnerships and truly furthers the mission of the Center for Sports Communication and allows us to be involved with cutting edge software technology like UNU.”

Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Mobile

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Mobile

OnePlus 7 to use latest body design to get rid of the notch, leak suggests

The OnePlus 6T may still be new, but we're already looking ahead to the upcoming OnePlus 7. It will use the Snapdragon 855, and may have a new slider body design. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 7.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Business

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.