John Carmack first joined Oculus when it was just a startup back in 2013 as the first Chief Technology Officer. Now in 2019, Carmack is changing roles with the company once again. He will now be moving from the CTO to a “Consulting CTO” role moving forward. His main goal when he linked up with Oculus back in 2013 was to modernize the idea of virtual reality. Six years later, that idea is well adopted and more people own virtual reality headsets than ever before. You can check out his official announcement via Facebook, or read it below.
Official Carmack Statement
Starting this week, I’m moving to a “Consulting CTO” position with Oculus.
I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time.
As for what I am going to be doing with the rest of my time: When I think back over everything I have done across games, aerospace, and VR, I have always felt that I had at least a vague “line of sight” to the solutions, even if they were unconventional or unproven. I have sometimes wondered how I would fare with a problem where the solution really isn’t in sight. I decided that I should give it a try before I get too old.
I’m going to work on artificial general intelligence (AGI).
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 the time being at least, I am going to be going about it “Victorian Gentleman Scientist” style, pursuing my inquiries from home, and drafting my son into the work.
Runner up for next project was cost effective nuclear fission reactors, which wouldn’t have been as suitable for that style of work. 😊
Carmack’s Professional Future
He is going to still be working with Oculus development, but only be taking a “modest slice” of his time. It is important to note he doesn’t speak on if he will be developing his AGI with and for Oculus, by himself, or even for a different company. When we explore the other ideas of where he could be helping out, Neuralink is a company that has some interest in him, and vice versa. Earlier this year, he took to Twitter to speak about his time there. You check out that tweet below.
When discussing AGI (artificial general intelligence) on the Joe Rogan Podcast, Carmack says that “I think that we will have — we will potentially have — clear signs of AGI maybe as soon as a decade from now. Now lots of people disagree, the majority of scientists working on it think ‘oh its gonna be at least a few decades’, and you still have a few hold outs who say ‘oh it can’t happen at all’, but I’m a strict materialist, I think our minds are just our body in action, and there’s no reason why we can’t wind up simulating that in some way.”
This evidence, mixed with the Nueralink tweet, makes a pretty compelling case that Carmack will be a pioneer in this industry, much like he was with the virtual reality industry. There is a lot to be discovered in that realm of technology, and all of it is much more technical and advanced than virtual reality. It will be interesting to see if Carmack takes another role with a different company or stays put with Oculus. For more virtual reality updates and community news, make sure to check back at VRGear.com.