Whole Brain Emulation (WBE), the theoretical technology of modeling a human brain in its entirety on a computer-thoughts, feelings, memories, and skills intact-is a staple of science fiction. Recently, proponents of WBE have suggested that it will be realized in the next few decades. In this paper, we investigate the plausibility of WBE being developed in the next 50 years (by 2063). We identify four essential requisite technologies: scanning the brain, translating the scan into a model, running the model on a computer, and simulating an environment and body. Additionally, we consider the cultural and social effects of WBE. We find the two most uncertain factors for WBE’s future to be the development of advanced miniscule probes that can amass neural data in vivo and the degree to which the culture surrounding WBE becomes cooperative or competitive. We identify four plausible scenarios from these uncertainties and suggest the most likely scenario to be one in which WBE is realized, and the technology is used for moderately cooperative ends
Alivisatos, A. P. et al. 2013. The Brain Activity Map. Science, 339: 1284 - 1285. doi: 10.1126/science.1236939
Alivisatos, A. P. et al. 2012. The Brain Activity Map Project and the Challenge of Functional Connectomics. Neuron, 74: 970 - 974. doi 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.06.006
Anthony, Sebastian. 2012. IBM creates 9nm carbon nanotube transistor that outperforms silicon. ExtremeTech. Available electronically at http://www.extremetech.com/computing/115657-ibmcreates-9nm-carbon-nanotube-transistor-outperforms-silicon
Avatar. 2009. Cameron, James. 20th Century Fox. Film.
Boston Dynamics. 2009. PETMAN Prototype. Youtube. Available electronically at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67CUudkjEG4
Brodkin, Jon. 2009. Moore’s Law has decades left, Intel CTO predicts. NetworkWorld. Available electronically at http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/092209-intel-cto-moores-law.html
Carell, Thomas. 2011. Molecular computing: DNA as a logic operator. Nature, 469: 45 - 46. doi:10.1038/469045a
Center for Brain Science. 2010. ATLUM. Harvard University. Available electronically at http://cbs.fas.harvard.edu/science/connectome-project/atlum
Coinnews Media Group. 2013. US Inflation Calculator. Coinnews Media Group, LLC. Available electronically at http://www.usinflationcalculator.com
Corrado, M., Simon S., and Harris C. 2011. 3M and IBM to Develop New Types of Adhesives to Create 3D Semiconductors. IBM News Releases. Available electronically at http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/35358.wss
The Creation of Humanoids. 1962. Barry, Wesley. Emerson Film Enterprises. Film.
Dean, Thomas et al. 2013. On the Technology Prospects and Investment Opportunities for Scalable Neuroscience. ArXiv:1307.7302
Douglas, S. M., Bachelet, I., Church, G. M. 2012. A Logic-Gated Nanorobot for Targeted Transport of Molecular Payloads. Science, 335: 831 - 834. doi: 10.1126/science.1214081
Duke University. 2013. The Video Game Industry. Duke University. Available electronically at http://sites.duke.edu/soc142-videogames/international-trade-patterns/main-players/
Dvorsky, G. 2013. New $1.6 billion supercomputer project will attempt to simulate the human brain. io9 Science. Available electronically at http://io9.com/5980117/new-16-billionsupercomputer-project-will-attempt-to-simulate-the-human-brain
Freejack. 1992. Murphy, Geoff. Warner Bros. Film.
Hanson, Robin. 2008. Economics of the Singularity. IEEE Spectrum. Available electronically at http://spectrum.ieee.org/robotics/robotics-software/economics-of-the-singularity
Jean-Baptiste Michel*, Yuan Kui Shen, Aviva Presser Aiden, Adrian Veres, Matthew K. Gray, William Brockman, The Google Books Team, Joseph P. Pickett, Dale Hoiberg, Dan Clancy, Peter Norvig, Jon Orwant, Steven Pinker, Martin A. Nowak, and Erez Lieberman Aiden*. Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books. Science (Published online ahead of print: 12/16/2010)
Kodandaramaiah, S. B. et al. 2012. Automated whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology of neurons in vivo. Nature Methods 9: 585 - 587. doi: doi:10.1038/nmeth.1993
Koene, Randal A. 2012a. Fundamentals of Whole Brain Emulation: State, Transition and Update Representations. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 4: 5 - 21. doi: 10.1142/S179384301240001X
Koene, Randal A. 2012b. Experimental Research in Whole Brain Emulation: the need for Innovative in-vivo Measurement Techniques. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 4: 1250004. doi:: 10.1142/S1793843012500047
Koomey, Jonathan. 2012. The Computing Trend that Will Change Everything. MIT Technology Review. Available electronically at http://www.technologyreview.com/news/427444/thecomputing-trend-that-will-change-everything/
Kording, Konrad P. 2011. Of Toasters and Molecular Ticker Tapes. PLOS Computational Biology, 7: e1002291. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002291
Kurzweil, Ray. 2010. How My Predictions Are Faring. KurzweilAI. Available electronically at http://www.kurzweilai.net/predictions/download.php
Kurzweil, Ray. 2012. How to Create a Mind: the Secret of Human Thought Revealed. New York: Penguin Group.
Kurzweil, Ray. 2005. The Singularity is Near. New York: Penguin Group.
Lytton, William W. 2002. From Computer to Brain: Foundations of Computational Neuroscience. New York: Springer.
Marblestone, Adam H. et al. 2013. Physical Principles for Scalable Neural Recording. ArXiv:1306.5709
Markoff, J. 2013. Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain. The New York Times: 17 Feb 2013.
The Matrix. 1999. Wachowski, L. and Wachowski, A. Warner Bros. Pictures. Film.
NIH. 2012a. Actual Obligations by IC, FY 1983 - FY 1999. National Institute of Health. Available electronically at http://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/pdfs/spending_history/Actual%20Obligations%20by%20IC,%20FY%201983%20-%20FY%201999.pdf
NIH. 2012b. Actual Obligations by IC, FY 2000 - FY 2011. National Institute of Health. Available electronically at http://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/pdfs/spending_history/Actual%20Obligations%20By%20IC%20FY%202000%20-%20FY%202012.pdf
PhysOrg. 2012. Researchers build first physical ‘metatronic’ circuit. PhysOrg. Available electronically at http://phys.org/news/2012-02-physical-metatronic-circuit.html
Pohl, Frederik. 1954. The Tunnel under the World. Galaxy Magazine.
Sandberg, Anders. 2013. Feasibility of whole brain emulation. In Theory and Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence ed. Vincent C. Müller. SAPERE; Berlin: Springer. Available electronically at http://shanghailectures.org/sites/default/files/uploads/2013_Sandberg_Brain-Simulation_34.pdf
Sandberg, A. and Bostrom, M. 2008. Whole Brain Emulation: A Roadmap, Technical Report #2008-3, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University. Available electronically at http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/brain-emulation-roadmap-report.pdf
Seo, D., Carmena, J. M., Rabaey, J. M., Alon, E., Maharbiz, M. M. 2013. Neural Dust: An Ultrasonic, Low Power Solution for Chronic Brain-Machine Interfaces. ArXiv:1307.2196
Shelley, M. 1818. Frankenstein. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones.
The Sixth Day. 2000. Spottiswoode, Roger. Columbia Pictures. Film.
Trafton, A. 2012. Robots that reveal the Inner Workings of Brain Cells. MIT News. Available electronically at http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/robots-recording-neurons-0507.html
Tripp, S. and Grueber, M. 2011. Economic Impact of the Human Genome Project. Battelle Memorial Institute. Available electronically at http://battelle.org/docs/default-documentlibrary/economic_impact_of_the_human_genome_project.pdf
2045 Initiative. 2013. 2045 Initiative. Available electronically at http://2045.com