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John Carmack stepping down from Oculus CTO position

John Carmack stepping down from Oculus CTO position

Legendary game developer John Carmack has stepped down from his position as VR firm Oculus' chief technology officer.

In a post on the company's parent Facebook, the Doom creator said that he was moving to a consulting CTO position and he wants to start working on artificial intelligence.

"I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time," he wrote.

"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."

Carmack is the latest long-serving member of staff to leave the virtual reality firm. Former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe left Facebook in October 2018, while designer and co-founder Palmer Luckey left in March 2017. VP of VR Hugo Barra stepped down in May of this year to take on a more partner-focused role.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.