Facebook Oculus technician John Carmack answered questions from Joe Rogan, the lead podcast this week, covering a range of topics.
The conversation lasted more than 2 hours. This is a lot for a holistic perception of the conversation. We noticed that various news portals pull out a few comments from subjects touched by Carmack, for example: should the law limit the length of the working day of an adult and can AR enter into a person’s usual life in the near future.
We have listened to Carmack for many years, and we do not think that his comments are well-understood into one or two sentences. Instead, we rewrote some of the most interesting snippets from Rogan’s interview with Carmack.
I think that we will definitely have it. We will potentially have clear signs (of artificial general intelligence), possibly in ten years. But many people do not agree with this statement. Most scientists working on AI think, “oh, it will appear at least in a few decades.” And some even say the following: “Oh, this cannot happen at all.” But I am a strict materialist, I think that our minds are just our body in action, and there is no reason why we cannot somehow imitate this.
About Mark Zuckerberg
No one is thoroughly convinced of this, but Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook leadership in general are pursuing a mission to connect the world. You know, it’s strange to hear such words from the CEO of Facebook, but I really believe that the Facebook leadership is doing this because it believes this is a positive moment. And I agree with them. Now I am not a very sociable person, I am an introvert, I am a person with a hermit lifestyle, but I think this is a good idea. You know that this is what binds more people together, giving them the opportunity to find like-minded people with whom they would not otherwise interact – people whose existence they would not even know in many cases.
Work and obsession
I like to work 60 hours a week. I like to be productive. Now I have a family and children, and I usually miss this little bit of life. But if I have never worked 50 hours a week, I felt like I was a loafer. You know, I like to create things, I like to develop them and move forward. This feeling is unique. In some ways, I am helping to build the future. I am proud of what I am doing. Now in a company as large as Oculus, or even Facebook, I probably only spend about 50 percent of my time programming, the other half go to meetings where I try to convince people of my point of view by promoting the strategy. I don’t actually manage anyone, I would be a bad manager. At best, I can give an example and give some inspiration to follow, but I have never been good at trying to figure out how to get the best from individuals.
But I really like to be alone at home. And I will not spend time on extraneous things. I just spend a week or so on my own and I will do nothing but
programming. I am going to largely cut myself off from the Internet, I’m used to doing this by literally flying to another state.
There are people who think that there should literally be laws that should prevent people from working so much, and I always have to argue with that. Where there is the power of obsession and the ability and desire to absolutely devote oneself to something, there is no such thing as “a lot”. Throwing the work of your life for some kind of balance of work and life is not mine. I should always be aware that my view of the industry is very distorted, obviously by my experience. I have never actually worked for one of the big companies like EA or Activision, and it is possible that they have some reasonable criticisms regarding my working methods. They have free will. They decided to do it themselves. And if they think that it will help them get closer to their goals, I’m not going to try to make it impossible for them.
There are still fundamentally unresolved problems in the display technology to make it a magical thing that we really imagined in futuristic dreams. So, you come back to what you saw in Quest, when you saw the world through its obviously low resolution. You can say that generally gives a high resolution? Maybe color, high refresh rate … we would call it an end-to-end rather than a transparent augmented reality system, and we could make this technology perfect. But then it all comes down to what we expect from the user story? If you had something like that, would you wear this square thing on your face to the world? Ride a bus with such a device and do different things in it? I don’t think you would like to live and do something with a device that looks like a shoe box on your head.
But what if the device resembles only sunglasses? Everyone in the world will want something like this if it gives them these magical abilities and helps turn real reality into virtual or augmented. But there is an intermediate stage. If we get to the point where we will create something like swimming goggles or very thin ski goggles, this will already ensure half the success. But will such a device be what people want to wear for a long period of time? I tend to no, but we have not yet created such a device, so we still do not know the answer to this question.
Virtual reality and economics
The promise of VR is to make the world the way you want it to be. But not all people on Earth can be given what they want. Not everyone can have their own island of Richard Branson. There are simply not enough islands in the world to give them to people. But even at a much more mundane level, not everyone can have a mansion. Not everyone can even have a home theater room. And these are things that we can model to some extent in virtual reality. Now the simulation is not as good as the real thing. Again, if you are rich and you have your own home cinema, and mansion, and a private island, we can still offer you the convenience of being able to instantly get to different places.
But you are still probably not the people who will benefit most from this. But most people in the world are not in that position. Most people in the world live in relatively tight neighborhoods, which are not what they would choose if they had unlimited resources. And the technological curves for these things are $ 400 now … they largely follow the price curves of the phones.
We can have virtual reality devices that can become cheap enough that many people can afford them. And we can do all the best and best software, and it can be a better world in many ways. Now everyone points to it as if it is a work of art that goes around the Internet … people say: “oh, this is the world you are trying to build – people are connected to virtual reality that ignore the world around them.” And, of course, the first answer to this is: “Well, is his life really better if he takes them off? And is he there in this terrible place? ”
We are inclining the world to our will, and I think that virtual reality, which allows people to do what is impossible in the real world, is the future of technology. Many people react negatively to any talk about the budget, but this is a justifiable allocation of resources. You know, you have to make decisions about where everything goes, and I think that economically we can bring more benefits to many people in this virtual sense.
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