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John Carmack’s AGI startup raises $20 million from Sequoia, Nat Friedman and others

John Carmack, the game developer who co-founded Id Software and served as Oculus’s CTO, is working on a new venture — and has already attracted capital from some big names.

Carmack said Friday his new artificial general intelligence startup, called Keen Technologies, has raised $20 million in a financing round from former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and Cue founder Daniel Gross. Stripe co-founder and CEO Patrick Collison, Shopify co-founder and CEO Tobi Lutke, and storied venture fund Sequoia are among those investing in the round, he said.

“This is explicitly a focusing effort for me. I could write a $20M check myself, but knowing that other people’s money is on the line engenders a greater sense of discipline and determination. I had talked about that as a possibility for a while, and I am glad Nat pushed me on it,” he said in a tweet.

AGI, short for “artificial general intelligence,” is a category of AI systems that can theoretically perform any task that a human can. That’s as opposed to AI systems today, which are designed for narrow, specific applications like generating art, driving cars, and playing video games. Some optimists believe AGI could be achieved within the next century, thanks to emerging algorithmic techniques and increasingly powerful computer hardware. Others, including the chief scientist at Carmack’s current employer, Yann LeCun, have cast doubt on the notion that AGI will ever be a reality.

Carmack will still continue to consult with Meta on VR matters, but his work with the social juggernaut, he said, will consume only 20% of his time.

More to follow…

source: TechCrunch