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John Carmack steps down as CTO of Oculus to develop Artificial General Intelligence

John Carmack, the creator of Doom and a pioneer of virtual reality, is stepping down as the CTO of Oculus to focus on artificial general intelligence, which can be considered a super-powered version of artificial intelligence. Carmack will work from his home to develop machine intelligences that learn like humans do rather than through algorithms.

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 3DDoom (1993), and the Oculus Rift, he might just be the man that makes fiction a reality.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 11 > John Carmack steps down as CTO of Oculus to develop Artificial General Intelligence
Sam Medley, 2019-11-14 (Update: 2019-11-14)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.