Will AI reach human-level performance in Magic: The Gathering before 2026?
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30
1.7k
2026
38%
chance

Resolves YES if an AI can beat me or a similarly-skilled player at least 4 times out of 10 games in a mirror-match. (The AI and I both have the same deck and the same amount of time, with at least 30 minutes per game.) Only the strategical decisions must be made by the AI; a human can do the card motions (if tabletop) or clicking and data entry (if online).

Any reliable evidence that this has occurred is sufficient: e.g. a paper published where the researchers claim to have run such a test.

The AI can't be designed for the specific deck it's playing, it needs to be general-purpose. It does get to know in advance of the game what cards are in the deck it's been given. Any reasonable deck for a serious format is fine; it can't just be Forests and Grizzly Bears.

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WHY NO FOREST AND GRIZZZLY? BEAR GOOD. FOREST GOOD.

The AI can't be designed for the specific deck it's playing, it needs to be general-purpose

Does this mean it needs to be able to play a deck without "practicing" with it before? If so, I expect this to be nearly impossible. Magic rules are incredibly compliated and the action space such an agent will need to learn without practicing is immense. On the other hand, an AI that can play a certain mirror but can easily be retrained to play other mirrors seems very plausible.

Some provoked questions, answer as you'd like: What is your level? And what might qualify for someone to play instead of you?
(How many times a year would you be up to take the challenge?)
How would the deck choice be made when running the test?

@ChameLeon Yeah, I feel like these are substantial ambiguities. I predict human level performance for an AI piloting mono-red before KCI.

@ChameLeon I'm the sort of person who consistently top 8s RCQs and never wins any.

No specific number.

Mono-red is fine, but it has to be a general AI, not designed specifically for mono-red.

Will the AI know what cards are in the deck beforehand (so it can aim for combos) or will it be completely blind?

@Cantilever It can know what's in the deck

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