‘Swarm Intelligence’ Predicts the Kentucky Derby’s First 4 Finishers, Wins $11000

A software platform that uses a human swarm has just beaten the 540-to-1 odds of the Kentucky Derby.

5. 12. 16 by Jelor Gallego
Getty Images / Andy Lyons
Image by Getty Images / Andy Lyons

We all know that artificial intelligence is capable of amazing things. They are being used by countries to do a plethora of tasks. Japan uses AI to catch criminals. They’re being used to fight poachers in Africa. Indeed, AI is being used for all sorts of important, humanitarian reasons.

And apparently, they can be used to bet at the horse races…and they are good at it.

Case in point, a TechRepublic reporter won more than $500 after betting on the Kentucky Derby using the order provided by a software platform called UNU, and the technology’s inventor, Louis Rosenberg, $10,842 from a $20 dollar bet.

Louis Rosnberg’s winning betting slip for the Kentucky Derby. Credit:

UNU is a platform created by Unanimous AI, using something called swarm intelligence. It is based on the idea that the collective wisdom of large groups can better predict the outcome events than any single person.


The platform allows users to answer questions in a group as part of a “human swarm.” In the Derby experiment, the platform used 20 people who knew the event, asked them to winnow down the competing horses to the top four, and then had the swarm picks the winning order.

Amazingly, the “swarm” got the order right. But as individuals, none of them placed all the horses in the correct order.

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