Unanimous A.I. is a Silicon Valley startup which has built a unique platform capable of tapping into the combined knowledge of a group of people to come up with its own preferences and views. Using its self-developed knowledge, the AI system can accurately make predictions.
The AI software has been named UNU and was used to accurately predict the Oscar winners last year for 11 out of the 15 categories.
The AI was also recently used to predict the winning horses in the Kentucky Derby. The company’s next venture is an AMA hosted on Reddit, where the system will respond to the queries regarding the upcoming US elections.
UNU differs from the usual robotic AIs as it employs the existing human intelligence instead of emulating it. The publically open platform enables a group of people to reach an answer in real time using the swarm intelligence. The Oscar predictions were made by using a swarm of seven people. On the other hand, the Derby predictions were made by a group of 20 people. The company expects that a swarm of 100 to 200 people will allow the system to make political predictions for the US presidential race at 1 pm EDT.
All the participants in the AMA session will be selected from the UNU’s existing user base. Once they have signed in, the users are shown a query and its possible answers. Each participant has 60 seconds to answer the query and each participant can only view his/her own puck. Based on the answers of the group, a collective decision is reached by the system.
Swarm intelligence is based on the natural phenomenon of the insects working together in a group, driven by the swarm intelligence. The insects work in an orderly manner to collectively arrive at an intelligent decision. Just like the insects in a swarm, the AI of the UNU is driven by the idea that people can be smarter collectively. Louis Rosenberg, the CEO of the Unanimous A.I., explained the idea behind the UNU as:
“Nature has shown that by allowing groups of similar organisms to function in a closed-loop system they can become smarter than any single individual in that system. In fact, it becomes a super-organism.”
The system can analogously be compared with the crowd-funding platforms. It basically is a crowdsourcing platform for ideas, and opinions. However, the system is not as simple as collecting the user responses and find average to determine the answer.
In fact, UNU creates an artificial swarm that enhances the intelligence of the user group and thus, creates its own intelligence. Just as seen in the Kentucky Derby, UNU employed collective intelligence to accurately predict the first four horses. However, when asked to make individual choices, none of the users had correctly guessed more than one winning horses. As Rosenberg explains it:
“Collectively, they make an expert. The individuals who participate in the swarm don’t have the answers that the swarm does. They got one horse right on an average. But even though no single individual in that swarm came close, the swarm was right.”
The system offers endless possibilities that go beyond the predictions for which it is currently being employed; e.g. UNU can be employed by the medical doctors as well:
“Instead of relying on a single expert you’d have a group of experts who can collectively come up with answers that are significantly more insightful than individuals working on their own. What we’ll see is the ability to democratize expertise.”
If the idea of UNU makes it beyond its present use and is adopted by a large number of people, UNU can even emerge as the ultimate “super expert” of the future.