John Carmack Is Shifting Roles at Oculus to Focus on Artificial Intelligence

John Carmack Is Shifting Roles at Oculus to Focus on Artificial Intelligence

The former CTO is now the "consulting CTO."

One of the founding fathers of id Software and Doom, John Carmack has been with virtual reality company Oculus since 2013. But today, Carmack announced his position within the company was changing, and he's taking a step back from both his current position and the world of VR.

In a Facebook post today, Carmack announced he would be moving from CTO to a "consulting CTO" position at Oculus, where he says he'll still have a voice in development but consume less of his time. And instead of VR, it looks like Carmack is focusing on A.I., or A.G.I. as he calls it-artificial general intelligence.

"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," Carmack writes. "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."

Carmack says he'll be researching this from home, drafting his son into the project as well.

Though Carmack was a fairly high-profile recruitment for a then-budding Oculus when he first joined, that came with a fair bit of controversy. ZeniMax levied a suit against Oculus in 2014, alleging that Oculus had stolen trade secrets to create its Rift headset and accusing Carmack of taking in-development VR tech to Oculus.

ZeniMax was later awarded $500 million, though it seems it was due to Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey failing to comply with a non-disclosure agreement. Luckey would later leave Oculus and Facebook in 2017.

Though it went through rough waters then, it seems like Oculus has hit its stride with the Quest, a fairly impressive, wireless VR headset that strikes a middle ground between boutique headsets and strapping a phone to your face. What Oculus, and Carmack, could be getting up to in the A.I. space is anyone's guess-maybe developing more super-gamer A.I. bots-but it'll be interesting to see.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

In other news

Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 Is Heading Online

In January, we'll have more incredible speedruns to watch even if we're still socially distant.

Harmonix's Fuser Eschews Gender in Its Character Customization Options

The makers of Rock Band are taking a freeform, inclusive approach to letting players create their DJ avatars.

Fuser, Harmonix's New DJ Rhythm Game, Is Coming Out in November

You'll be able to live out your Girl Talk dreams in just a couple months.

You may also like

Did You Manage to Pre-Order a Next-Gen Console?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Between PS5, Xbox Series X and S, and Nvidia's 3080 and 3090 graphics cards, it's been a busy couple weeks for next-gen preorders.

Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster Reportedly Set for Next Year, Without Multiplayer

The Legendary Edition will reportedly have all the DLC and no MP.

Left 4 Dead 2 Is Free-to-Play This Weekend in Honor of Its Big Community Update

Hoist a pitchfork, grab some pills, and go to town on those zombies.

Spelunky 2 Won't Have Online Support at Launch on PC, But Cross-Play Is on the Way

Yup, down the road you'll be able to go spelunking on PC with your PS4 friends.