John Carmack is stepping down as Oculus CTO to focus on artificial intelligence

Forward-looking: For now, Carmack said he will be going about his new passion “Victorian Gentleman Scientist” style and will be pursuing inquiries from home. As for Oculus, Carmack will still be involved, but in a “consulting CTO” capacity. In other words, he will still have a voice but it won’t consume nearly as much of his time.

Gaming legend John Carmack is stepping back from his position as chief technology officer of Oculus.

In a Facebook post announcing the move, Carmack said he has always felt as if he had a vague “line of sight” to the solutions he has attempted to reach in gaming, aerospace and virtual reality. Sometimes, however, he wondered how he would fare with a problem where the solution isn’t so obvious.

“I decided that I should give it a try before I get too old,” he concluded.

That issue is artificial general intelligence and it’ll be Carmack’s new focus moving forward. He said he believes it is possible, enormously valuable and that he has a “non-negligible chance” of making a difference in the field.

Carmack was a key figure in the rise of id Software and subsequent releases like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake. He hopped on the modern virtual reality bandwagon in mid-2013 as Oculus’ CTO and left his position with id Software later that year to go full time. He got mixed up in a lawsuit between Oculus and ZeniMax involving VR intellectual property but was ultimately absolved of liability.

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