Facebook’s technical VR guide at Oculus, John Carmack, is transitioning to a new “consulting” role as his interests extend to areas outside virtual reality.
Carmack joined Oculus in 2013 as the startup’s Chief Technology Officer and played a critical role in popularizing the idea of modern consumer VR before that. He continued guiding technical thinking at Facebook after the ad giant acquired Oculus in 2014.
Here’s the full text of Carmack’s update which says he still has a voice in VR development work, but it will only be “a modest slice of my time”:
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. 😊
On the Joe Rogan podcast recently Carmack said ““I think that we will have — we will potentially have — clear signs of [Artificial General Intelligence] 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.”
Earlier this year Carmack described work being done at Elon Musk-backed brain-computer interface company Neuralink as “very bold.”
I spent a day at Neuralink last week, and left with my head figuratively (for now?) stuffed with exciting new information. This is very bold work. https://t.co/0JqutFdkv2
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) July 16, 2019