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John Carmack moving to a new position at Oculus

kojackkojack Posts: 5,689 Volunteer Moderator
edited November 13 in General
From his facebook page:

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.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2547632585471243&id=100006735798590


So it sounds like he'll be less involved with VR from now on, focusing more on AI in his personal time instead. If that's what he's interested in, good on him.


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Comments

  • inovatorinovator Posts: 2,112 Valuable Player
    All good things come to an end.
  • kojackkojack Posts: 5,689 Volunteer Moderator
    edited November 13
    At least he's still there, just in a less allocation.

    Maybe now he'll have time to hang around the forum?
    B)

  • RichooalRichooal Posts: 1,242
    Wintermute
    edited November 13
    It's interesting that he just said that he wasn't happy with the speed of progress in VR, and now he's switching to something where he has no idea of how to proceed (yet).

    I say good luck to him. He changes everything he works on for the better.
    i5 6600k - GTX1060 - 8GB RAM - 0 PROBLEMS
  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 3,913 Valuable Player
    edited November 13
    Feels like the original Oculus team is close to completely gone :'( What Carmack says seems to me like a gradual retirement plan from Oculus - a slow departure and farewell. 
    Intel i7 7700K (4.5 GHz); MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Gaming X (oc 2100 MHz gpu boost, 11 GHz mem speed); 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 MHz; MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC (VR-Ready) mainboard; Samsung 960 Evo M.2 SSD + Toshiba P300 HD; Windows 10 OS; Valve Index and Oculus Rift CV1 - the latter nearly always using super sampling 2.0. 

    "Ask not what VR can do for you – ask what you can do for VR"
  • kevinw729kevinw729 Posts: 4,812 Valuable Player
    Remembering the beginning:



    And wishing him well on his continuing journey.
    P6ftmuw.jpg
    ** New Book **
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  • Shadowmask72Shadowmask72 Posts: 3,837 Valuable Player
    This is the beginning of Skynet. We're all screwed.

     :# 


    System Specs: RTX 2080 ti , i9 9900K CPU, 16 GB DDR 4 RAM, Win 10 64 Bit OS.
  • kojackkojack Posts: 5,689 Volunteer Moderator
    This is the beginning of Skynet. We're all screwed.

     :# 
    I've played the Quakes and Dooms, I'm not worried. Unreal Tournament had better AI. :)

  • RichooalRichooal Posts: 1,242
    Wintermute
    kojack said:
    This is the beginning of Skynet. We're all screwed.

     :# 
    I've played the Quakes and Dooms, I'm not worried. Unreal Tournament had better AI. :)


    That's because John didn't do the AI, he called on Mr.Elusive for that.
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  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 7,150 Valuable Player
    This is the beginning of Skynet. We're all screwed.

     :# 

    Bah! Beat me to it! lol :D
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

    Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever
  • dburnedburne Posts: 2,845 Valuable Player
    Well this is certainly interesting, not really surprising though based on recent history.
    Don

    EVGA Z390 Dark MB | I9 9900k| EVGA 2080Ti FTW3 Ultra |32 GB G Skill 3200 cl14 ram | Warthog Throttle | VKB Gunfighter Pro/MCG Pro grip | Crosswind Pedals | EVGA DG 87 Case| Rift S | Quest |
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 14,613 Valuable Player
    Seems like a smart move. If you read the "open letter" that was released by Carmack, he shares his vision about what it will take for VR to hit those "billions." He has done his part in this matter, so now it is time for others to step up. Artificial Intelligence does have a big future in multiple industries, and his consulting CTO role is likely what he needs to give the rest of the VR Industry time to catch up and get its shit together.

    Excited to see what Carmack does in the realm of AI.
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
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  • WildtWildt Posts: 2,105 Valuable Player
    Carmack sending Oculus off on it's own

    PCVR: CV1 || 4 sensors || TPcast wireless adapter || MamutVR Gun stock V3
    PSVR: PS4 Pro || Move Controllers || Aim controller
    WMR: HP Reverb
  • WildtWildt Posts: 2,105 Valuable Player
    kojack said:
    This is the beginning of Skynet. We're all screwed.

     :# 
    I've played the Quakes and Dooms, I'm not worried. Unreal Tournament had better AI. :)

    Yeah, if you set them to just below max difficulty, they were hard to tell apart from real players on the maps that had good path nodes. On max, they were too aimbotty.
    PCVR: CV1 || 4 sensors || TPcast wireless adapter || MamutVR Gun stock V3
    PSVR: PS4 Pro || Move Controllers || Aim controller
    WMR: HP Reverb
  • Shadowmask72Shadowmask72 Posts: 3,837 Valuable Player
    Well AI is something China is investing billions into so the rotw needs to catch-up. I do hope though John combines his VR expertise + programming skills with AI. On the VR software side, that could be something really special and something I have great interest in.  It's the VR holy grail for me to have a fully functional AI person in VR. Not just a reactive model. If I ever came into money then this is what I would put resources into. 


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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,268 Volunteer Moderator
    It's probably very liberating to move into AGI where there's pretty much no limitations put on it by, for example, user adoption of particular hardware. I mean it's an area that will increasingly be in everything we interact with. 

    ...and it doesn't suffer with arguments over internal or external cameras or whether Link will be the death of the Rift ;)
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  • kojackkojack Posts: 5,689 Volunteer Moderator
    Wildt said:
    kojack said:
    This is the beginning of Skynet. We're all screwed.

     :# 
    I've played the Quakes and Dooms, I'm not worried. Unreal Tournament had better AI. :)

    Yeah, if you set them to just below max difficulty, they were hard to tell apart from real players on the maps that had good path nodes. On max, they were too aimbotty.
    The UT bots were made by Steve Polge. Epic hired him because of the awesome Reaper Bot he made as a mod for Quake.

  • MPiresMPires Posts: 128
    Art3mis
    A brilliant brain like his will surely be very useful in other projects but I can't help but regret this departure from VR. I hope the same will not happen in the near future with Abrash.
  • jabjab Posts: 209
    Nexus 6
    edited November 14
    https://www.pcgamer.com/john-carmack-says-hes-not-satisfied-with-the-pace-of-progress-in-vr-development/

    I guess we'r not the only ones frustrated with Oculus settling for Rift 1.5 and Quest.
  • inovatorinovator Posts: 2,112 Valuable Player
    Richooal said:
    It's interesting that he just said that he wasn't happy with the speed of progress in VR, and now he's switching to something where he has no idea of how to proceed (yet).

    I say good luck to him. He changes everything he works on for the better.
    Very good point. It may have frustrated him that the tech is here to do more of what he wants but it's just not cost effective enough to allow it.
  • kevinw729kevinw729 Posts: 4,812 Valuable Player
    jab said:
    https://www.pcgamer.com/john-carmack-says-hes-not-satisfied-with-the-pace-of-progress-in-vr-development/

    I guess we'r not the only ones frustrated with Oculus settling for Rift 1.5 and Quest.

    We can all understand his frustration - a factor in why he kept his operation separate of the Californian office. I wonder with his moving on, if Oculus Texas will now be rolled into the group as has been previously attempted? Also understand he was mainly focused on the mobileVR aspect of the business, with limited involvement with the PC side, and had previously been directly involved with the GearVR roll-out and standalone initiative. After his teams amazing work on redressing the issues with the Rift-S and Quest inside-out tracking, I am sure he feels a focus on other business is needed while he is still young. 
    P6ftmuw.jpg
    ** New Book **
    "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities"
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959
  • OmegaM4NOmegaM4N Posts: 592
    Neo
    Why all this talk of Doom. o:)
  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 3,913 Valuable Player
    kevinw729 said:
    jab said:
    https://www.pcgamer.com/john-carmack-says-hes-not-satisfied-with-the-pace-of-progress-in-vr-development/

    I guess we'r not the only ones frustrated with Oculus settling for Rift 1.5 and Quest.

    We can all understand his frustration - a factor in why he kept his operation separate of the Californian office. I wonder with his moving on, if Oculus Texas will now be rolled into the group as has been previously attempted? Also understand he was mainly focused on the mobileVR aspect of the business, with limited involvement with the PC side, and had previously been directly involved with the GearVR roll-out and standalone initiative. After his teams amazing work on redressing the issues with the Rift-S and Quest inside-out tracking, I am sure he feels a focus on other business is needed while he is still young. 

    So soon Abrash is the only one left of the original team...? I don't mind changes in a company, but it feels like all the brain power has (nearly) left - or maybe Oculus has hired some extremely skilled persons to take over, but then I've not noticed much info about them...  I hope Jason Rubin and Hugo Barra are able to push things forward. 
    Intel i7 7700K (4.5 GHz); MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Gaming X (oc 2100 MHz gpu boost, 11 GHz mem speed); 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 MHz; MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC (VR-Ready) mainboard; Samsung 960 Evo M.2 SSD + Toshiba P300 HD; Windows 10 OS; Valve Index and Oculus Rift CV1 - the latter nearly always using super sampling 2.0. 

    "Ask not what VR can do for you – ask what you can do for VR"
  • kevinw729kevinw729 Posts: 4,812 Valuable Player
    RuneSR2 said:
    ....
    So soon Abrash is the only one left of the original team...? I don't mind changes in a company, but it feels like all the brain power has (nearly) left - or maybe Oculus has hired some extremely skilled persons to take over, but then I've not noticed much info about them...  I hope Jason Rubin and Hugo Barra are able to push things forward. 

    Agree RuneSR2 - change is inevitable, and those that fight against it are wasting their time.
    As one that follows many tech start-ups, OculusVR has actually retained certain members of the original team longer than other corporations that are acquired. The "18-month rule" is usually employed when a major acquisition takes part, with the majority of the key executives departing. Usually they are retained longer if irregularities in deployment of the business plan ensue, or if there is a need for their expertise being core to operations of the plan. We have seen both here. 

    With the move away from his core issues, other than applying his genius in addressing the tracking issues and performance problems with Rift-S and Quest, it was obvious there was no real interest to continue full time. Also we need to understand that the company has veered quite considerably from the original plan of attack - the failure to generate initial sales targets in the PC sector has seen the pivot to Standalone - and with the pulling back we saw the last of the core of original executives depart (after dropping the CV2 plan).

    I had hoped that the remaining team of experts would be able to apply themselves to the Quest Link - but it seems that is being overseen by a different group, and may be being handled in a different way to previous hardware releases. Anyway, they still have access to that talent pool now as a contractor if needed.
    P6ftmuw.jpg
    ** New Book **
    "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities"
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959
  • dburnedburne Posts: 2,845 Valuable Player
    Speaking of Quest Link, wasn't the beta due out this month?

    Don

    EVGA Z390 Dark MB | I9 9900k| EVGA 2080Ti FTW3 Ultra |32 GB G Skill 3200 cl14 ram | Warthog Throttle | VKB Gunfighter Pro/MCG Pro grip | Crosswind Pedals | EVGA DG 87 Case| Rift S | Quest |
  • kevinw729kevinw729 Posts: 4,812 Valuable Player
    dburne said:
    Speaking of Quest Link, wasn't the beta due out this month?


    Yeah, there are a number of developments this month - seems weird that Link was not launched at the beginning of the month though? We also have a announcement about their BE plans... it has been suggested that the announcements have been... delayed. Not sure these are being impacted by the latest internal restructuring - we shall see. 
    P6ftmuw.jpg
    ** New Book **
    "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities"
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959
  • SpuzzumSpuzzum Posts: 823
    3Jane
    I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time.


    Considering a normal work day for Carmack is 12 to 13 hours, what exactly does a 'modest slice' amount to? :P

  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 3,913 Valuable Player
    Slightly strange to have Stormland launching before Link, maybe Link has had some unexpected issues... Stormland, now when Asgard's Wrath isn't that new anymore, could be the perfect flagship to push Link - and maybe it still can be... 
    Intel i7 7700K (4.5 GHz); MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Gaming X (oc 2100 MHz gpu boost, 11 GHz mem speed); 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 MHz; MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC (VR-Ready) mainboard; Samsung 960 Evo M.2 SSD + Toshiba P300 HD; Windows 10 OS; Valve Index and Oculus Rift CV1 - the latter nearly always using super sampling 2.0. 

    "Ask not what VR can do for you – ask what you can do for VR"
  • hoppingbunny123hoppingbunny123 Posts: 684
    Trinity
    edited November 14
    thats interesting. i think he will try to use a neural network to generate responses or go get deep-mind from google.

    what i think would be nice for ai on a more practical level is procedural generation of realistic 3d environments that would allow walking or bike riding in vr through an expanding vr world.

    using a game state story design model to hold the various generated models. then add to this 3d model rigging to allow for realistic moving models in vr environments as you bike through procedural generated 3d environments that look like fortnite. thats what im going to try to do one day, i hope. decade or two from now, but he has the power to try right now.

    the 2d course at udemy,shows how to build the state model, i cant link to it but thats the name of the course;

    Complete C# Unity Developer 2D: Learn to Code Making Games

    https://www.udemy.com/course/procedural-terrain-generation-with-unity/

  • MowTinMowTin Posts: 1,809 Valuable Player
    I think he realizes that VR is limited by the limitations of modern processors. We need a major breakthrough in processor technology. 
    i7 6700k 2080ti   Rift-S, Index
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 14,613 Valuable Player
    MowTin said:
    I think he realizes that VR is limited by the limitations of modern processors. We need a major breakthrough in processor technology. 

    I think he realizes that there are many limitations not with the tech itself, but how the entire ecosystem has evolved. I brought a lot of this up in my last "were the critics right" thread. And Carmack expressed similar frustrations in a recent video, which was shown on this forum as well.

    VR as a whole is hitting a major downturn. It will take a couple of years before something big hits again. And the VR Hype train will return in full force.
    Are you a fan of the Myst games? Check out my Mod at http://www.mystrock.com/
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