There are few game developers who have achieved rockstar fame as much as the two Johns of the former id Software. And of the two, one is moving on from games or at least from working on games directly. John Carmack will always be remembered for his pioneering work not only iconic franchises such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D but also for pushing the computer gaming industry as a whole. At 49, however, he wants to be remembered for something else as well: making an impact in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
John Carmack is probably considered a hero among games and graphics developers and especially among PC gamers. His face as well as his voice has been one of the loudest in pushing the PG gaming market not just in games but, more importantly, the technology that underlies those games.
Of late, however, he also became one of the faces of Oculus, bringing his technical mastery to improve the state of consumer VR. After more than 6 years in that field, Carmack is ready to move on to something that will perhaps offer a bit more challenge to his bright mind.
Carmack posted on Facebook that he will be “stepping down” from Oculus CTO to take on a consulting CTO role instead. That’s really just the means to an end, which is to work on Artificial General Intelligence or AGI. To the gaming industry veteran, the challenge that AI, specifically AGI, offers is having the solution that isn’t really in sight yet. In other words, dreaming of and then building that solution, almost from the ground up.
Carmack hasn’t yet made any specific plans, other than pursuing his inquiries at home. Given how AI permeates almost everything these days, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see John’s future work touch on familiar gaming and VR territories again.