John Carmack steps down as CTO of Oculus to develop Artificial General Intelligence
John Carmack may be the closest thing we have to a real-world mad scientist.
In a Facebook post today, the gifted programmer announced he would be stepping down as CTO of Oculus to spend more time on a project close to his heart. Carmack will remain at Oculus as a technology consultant but will heavily reduce his workload at the Facebook-owned company.
Carmack is shifting his efforts from virtual reality to artificial general intelligence, or AGI. AGI is similar to artificial intelligence (AI) in that it focuses on developing computers and machines that can “learn” as humans do. However, AGI could be considered AI on steroids; AGi, also known as “strong AI” or “full AI,” aims to simulate learning through methods akin to human thought rather than code-based algorithms.
AGI is more on the fiction side of science fiction right now and is considered part of “future studies,” which is a fancy term describing ideas that are possibilities rather than experimental science. However, keep in mind that virtual reality was also once thought to be science fiction, but Carmack was highly influential in making VR commercially viable and palatable to consumers.
Carmack now styles himself as a “Victorian Gentleman Scientist.” He will work from home with his son to further develop AGI. Considering Carmack’s genius with computer technology, as evidenced by milestones like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom (1993), and the Oculus Rift, he might just be the man that makes fiction a reality.
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