John Carmack, a veteran game and virtual reality developer, will step down from his position at Oculus. He will transition to a consulting position while taking the time to work on artificial general intelligence.
Carmack announced the transition on his Facebook page, which has had thousands of reactions to the news.
Carmack Transitions to Artificial General Intelligence
Artificial general intelligence is the ability for a machine to have cognitive abilities on the level of a human. For example, the artificial intelligence Skynet from the Terminator movies is an artificial intelligence that became aware enough to launch a nuclear war against humans.
John Carmack is most known for his work at id Software, creating classic first-person shooters like DOOM and Quake. While partner John Romero was known as the mind behind the style and level design of those games, Carmack was the one who led programming and engine development.
After working at id Software for over 20 years, Carmack left the company to join Oculus to work on their new virtual reality device, the Oculus Rift. This would lead to a major legal battle between the two companies.
Legal Battles Between Zenimax and Oculus
Zenimax would go on to sue Oculus and parent company Facebook as Zenimax claimed Carmack took technology developed under Zenimax for virtual reality to Oculus for the Rift. While Carmack was not liable, but he did sue Zenimax for refusing to pay him $22.5 million from the sale of id Software.
Since then, Carmack has worked at Oculus furthering the technology of virtual reality.
Carmack hopes that this work will have a positive and valuable effect on artificial general intelligence. While his sole focus will shift to this new venture, he will still have a hand in the development work at Oculus.