John Carmack steps back from Oculus to focus on AI

One of the men behind Oculus stepped back to focus on artificial general intelligence.

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What you need to know

  • John Carmack stepped away from his role at Oculus and will now act as a “consulting CTO.”
  • Carmack will focus on artificial general intelligence, a type of AI that’s more human-like than other types of AI.
  • Carmack had a significant influence on the direction and development of the Oculus platform.

John Carmack took a step back from his role at Oculus and will now act as a “consulting CTO.” Carmack announced the change on Facebook, where he stated that he will “still have a voice in the development work” but that Oculus will only consume a “modest slice” of his time. Carmack will instead focus on artificial general intelligence (AGI), a specific type of AI that’s designed to be human-like.

Carmack had a large influence on the growth and development of the Oculus platform. He joined Oculus six years ago and worked on the Gear VR, Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, and several other projects. Carmack is known in the Oculus community for genuinely listening to and responding to feedback.

As pointed out by Engadget, AGI aims to perform intelligent tasks in a way similar to how a human would perform them. Carmack believes he has a chance to make a difference in this field,

I think it is possible, enormously valuable, and that I have a non-negligible chance of making a difference there, so by a Pascal’s Mugging sort of logic, I should be working on it.

For now, Carmack plans to work on his next project from home and draft his son to help him.