Will We Hit a Wall? Forecasting Bottlenecks to Whole Brain Emulation Development

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Whole brain emulation (WBE) is the possible replication of human brain dynamics that reproduces human behavior. If created, WBE would have significant impact on human society, and forecasts frequently place WBE as arriving within a century. However, WBE would be a complex technology with a complex network of prerequisite technologies. Most forecasts only consider a fraction of this technology network. The unconsidered portions of the network may contain bottlenecks, which are slowly-developing technologies that would impede the development of WBE. Here I describe how bottlenecks in the network can be non-obvious, and the merits of identifying them early. I show that bottlenecks may be predicted even with noisy forecasts. Accurate forecasts of WBE development must incorporate potential bottlenecks, which can be found using detailed descriptions of the WBE technology network. Bottlenecks identification can also increase the impact of WBE researchers by directing effort to those technologies that will immediately affect the timeline of WBE development

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