Kentucky Derby Introduces a Modern Twist: Artificial Intelligence

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Churchill Downs and TwinSpires partner with Unanimous A.I. to handicap and bet the Kentucky Derby; Unanimous A.I. defied 542-to-1 odds to predict the Superfecta in last year’s Derby

For the first time in its 143-year history, the Kentucky Derby will introduce a very modern twist: artificial intelligence.

Based on the success of Unanimous A.I. on last year’s Derby, is excited to offer our players the chance to reap the rewards of another successful prognostication.

For the first time in its 143-year history, the Kentucky Derby will introduce a very modern twist: artificial intelligence. Through an innovative partnership forged between the race organizers Churchill Downs and Unanimous AI, a Silicon Valley based AI company, the team will produce “super-expert” forecasts for the big race. And with the support of TwinSpires, the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby, the AI generated picks will be available to the betting public in a new $10K Players’ Pool.

The new partnership will harness Swarm AI™ technology from Unanimous, a system that combines the diverse knowledge, wisdom, insights, and intuitions of human groups and builds a real-time “super expert” modeled after swarms in nature, thereby amplifying their collective intelligence. In this case, the human group being amplified by the AI technology will be the best racing minds in the industry. Together as an amplified intelligence, they will handicap the Kentucky Derby. Picks from this “super-expert” will be released to the public on Thursday, May 4, and will be the basis for a $10,000 Players’ Pool. Click here to go to the “Unanimous A.I. Derby Superfecta.”

Last year, Unanimous AI made headlines by defying 542-to-1 odds using its Swarm AI platform, known as UNU, to accurately predict the Kentucky Derby Superfecta — the top four horses in exact order — a feat that turned a $20 bet into $11,000 in what Newsweek called “the holy grail of gambling.” Last year, Swarm AI system tapped the intelligence of self-identified horse-racing enthusiasts. This year, the new partnership with Churchill Downs and TwinSpires means the A.I. will tap some of the best racing minds in the industry.

This year, the public can bet along with the AI in new $10K Players’ Pool on

This year’s partnership means anyone can bet the “super-expert” forecast on the TwinSpires website and share in the fun, beginning May 4. Players that want to participle can buy in and bet on the AI’s picks for as little as $10.

Previous Players’ Pools have cashed for millions of dollars over the years, including a $460,000 Pick Six win at the 2007 Kentucky Derby, but this marks the first time a Players’ Pool will feature handicapping by Swarm A.I. technology combined with a betting strategy from Ed DeRosa, a top handicapper at Churchill Downs.

“The players’ pool concept is based on combining strategies of top handicappers,” said Ed DeRosa, director of marketing for Bloodstock Research, the official data source of the Kentucky Derby. “Based on the success of Unanimous A.I. on last year’s Derby, is excited to offer our players the chance to reap the rewards of another successful prognostication.”

Building a “Super-Expert” by combining humans and machines:
Handicapping is the art and science of looking at a field of runners, and picking the top contenders based on their race histories, speed ratings, post positions, track conditions and pedigrees. With its unusually large field, long distance and young horses, the Kentucky Derby is a uniquely challenging race to handicap. And to do it well, requires an experienced professional with a lifetime of experience.

TwinSpires will provide a team of experienced racing experts, but rather than producing individual forecasts for the race as these experts traditionally do – Unanimous A.I. will build an artificial “super-expert” by having these individuals “think together” as a real-time swarm moderated by A.I. algorithms. This will be done using an online platform called UNU that enables groups to login from anywhere in the world and combine their insights in real time, amplifying their collective intelligence. Last year Unanimous A.I. did this with a group of racing enthusiasts and managed to perfectly pick the first four horses of the derby in order, winning the Superfecta. This year, the participants harnessed by the A.I. will be world-class experts.

“While predicting sports always involve a large element of chance, Unanimous A.I. taps the intelligence of groups and evokes the best possible prediction based on the available information. We have seen this work in a wide range of fields, from forecasting movie box-office to predicting the price of bitcoin,” said Louis Rosenberg, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Unanimous A.I. “We are excited to see how these handicappers do against one of the most unpredictable of events – the race commonly known as the most exciting two minutes in all of sports.”

About Unanimous A.I.
Unanimous A.I. is the Silicon Valley company that pioneered Artificial Swarm Intelligence, a powerful form of A.I. that amplifies human intelligence by combining real-time human insights with A.I. algorithms. Modeled after swarms in nature, Swarm AI™ technology from Unanimous has an impressive track record for making accurate predictions and was recognized among Tech Republic's 6 most exciting AI advances of 2016. It was also among the Top 10 Tech Trends Transforming Humanity by Peter Diamandis. The BBC recently featured Swarm A.I. and its potential: Why Bees Could be the Secret to Superhuman Intelligence. To learn more, visit

About TwinSpires
The TwinSpires App and Website offer wagering, live video, and handicapping information for all of racing’s biggest bets – as well as racing from around the world 20 hours/day, 364 days/year. Customers may open a TwinSpires account and wager through their TwinSpires accounts online at, via telephone by dialing 1-877-SPIRES-1 (1-877-774-7371), or via the app. ( is the official advance-deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated and its family of racetracks, as well for the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, and Breeders’ Cup. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Churchill Downs Incorporated.


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Elaina Boudreau
BELA Communications
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