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By 2030, will C. elegans be uploaded to the satisfaction of top computational neuroscientists?


From Wikipedia,

Caenorhabditis elegans is a free-living, transparent nematode, about 1 mm in length, that lives in temperate soil environments. It is the type species of its genus. [...] In 1963, Sydney Brenner proposed research into C. elegans primarily in the area of neuronal development. In 1974, he began research into the molecular and developmental biology of C. elegans, which has since been extensively used as a model organism. It was the first multicellular organism to have its whole genome sequenced, and as of 2019, is the only organism to have its connectome (neuronal "wiring diagram") completed.

In 2011 the project OpenWorm began the ambitious goal to "build the world's first virtual organism-- an in silico implementation of a living creature-- for the purpose of achieving an understanding of the events and mechanisms of living cells."

More generally, whole brain emulation of complex organisms has been called "the logical endpoint of computational neuroscience’s attempts to accurately model neurons and brain systems" by researchers at the Future of Humanity Institute. More speculatively, success in emulating humans could entail the ability to transfer one's personality and memory onto a computing substrate by having their brain scanned and transferred into a computer model. Many who sign up for cryonics anticipate developments in whole brain emulation to be critical for a successful revival.

Unfortunately, progress has been slow. As of 2020, it is apparent that C. elegans has not been uploaded to a computer substrate in any satisfying manner. Will the same be true by January 1st 2030?

Assume that in January 2030, an email is sent to 25 top computational neuroscientists (determined later in this question) asking,

Has recent progress in simulating the brain of Caenorhabditis elegans convinced you that the term "whole brain emulation" is an appropriate term for the current simulations of this organism? In other words, from what you've seen, are the models of C. elegans nearly behaviorally identical to the real C. elegans? For the sake of clarity, please respond with a clear "Yes", "No" or "Other" in your reply.

The question is allowed to include an introduction, and an explanation of why it is being asked. It is also allowed to include any clarifications for key terms, such as "whole brain emulation."

This question resolves positively if the majority of those who reply to the email respond with a clear "Yes" (or "yes" or some phrase that clearly indicates the same meaning). Otherwise, it resolves negatively. If the results from such an email are not published by the end of January 2030, this question resolves ambiguously.

The group of 25 leading computational neuroscientists would be the group created via the following method:

  1. In January 2030, take the most highly cited papers uploaded to bioarXiv from 2020 to 2030 (inclusive) in the category "Neuronscience".

  2. For each paper, in order from most citations to least citations, add the first author to the group if they are both alive and have a public email address. (A person has a public email address if they are associated with a research institution that has a webpage listing their email for contact.)

  3. Continue adding authors until there are 25 members in the group.

(Edited 2020-04-19 to upgrade method for picking the 25 scientists.)

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