Artificial Intelligence Correctly Predicts Winners Of Kentucky Derby


Researchers tout the potentials of artificial intelligence as a game changer in a range of industries, but AI appears to have application in the world of gambling as well.

You may not have thought about using artificial intelligence for your Kentucky Derby bets, but those who did have turned their $20 to $11,000.

The artificial intelligence called UNO, which has earlier predicted the winners of the Super Bowl and the Oscars, appears to have conquered the holy grail of gambling with its successful prediction of the winners in the last weekend's Kentucky Derby.

The odds for predicting the top four horses in the right order is 540 to one, but this was made possible with UNO's swarm intelligence, which aims to amplify instead of replace human intelligence.

The idea is that large groups are better at predicting the outcome of an event compared with any one person.

"Research shows that when animals in nature come together in swarms, they can enhance their intelligence to levels they just could not have as individuals," said Louis Rosenberg, CEO of Unanimous AI, the company behind UNU.

UNU asked 20 people who claimed to be knowledgeable about the Kentucky Derby to pin down the horses to the top four and then had the human swarm choose the winning order.

The group eventually guessed the winners of the game. Just as the swarm picked, Nyquist took the first place and was followed by Exaggerator, Gun Runner and Mohaymen. Interestingly, no one in the group individually predicted the correct order of the horses.

"The UNU swarm intelligence seemed to strongly favor Nyquist for the win, maintaining conviction in that pick even after an unfavorable post position was announced," Rosenberg said. "Of course it's horse racing, so there's no such thing as a sure thing."

Compared with a voting system, the same swarm group would have likely correctly predicted only one horse, Unanimous said. Rosenberg explained that a swarm tends to be more accurate compared with a poll because a poll merely gives the most popular answer and not the answer that optimizes the group's preference.

It only took about 20 minutes for the UNU swarm to pick out the bets. Relying on the swarm's prediction, Unanimous made a $20 bet and won $10,800 off it.

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