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  1. Abstract We characterize those finitely generated commutative rings which are (parametrically) bi-interpretable with arithmetic: a finitely generated commutative ring A is bi-interpretable with $(\mathbb{N},{+},{\times })$ if and only if the space of non-maximal prime ideals of A is nonempty and connected in the Zariski topology and the nilradical of A has a nontrivial annihilator in $\mathbb{Z}$. Notably, by constructing a nontrivial derivation on a nonstandard model of arithmetic we show that the ring of dual numbers over $\mathbb{Z}$ is not bi-interpretable with $\mathbb{N}$.