Copy Resolution Types

A classification system for the different types of mind copying

Copy Resolution Levels
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The technology associated with copying the mindstates of sentient and sophont beings is complex and sophisticated in the Orion's Arm civilisation. Most types of mind can be copied to various degrees of fidelity, and the resulting reproduction may be one of several different types, commonly labelled as Alpha, Beta or Gamma-level copies.

Alpha Copies

The original sophont is generally known as the alpha copy, or simply the alpha; some cultures refer to this instance as the prime.

A number of sophont clades (mostly hylotech vecs) use only classical information to define their mind-states, and these sophonts can be copied exactly using classical copying techniques- indeed, many sophonts of this kind include rapid copying routines within their own construction, so they can quickly and easily create an exact alpha copy of themselves at will.

Godtech-level destructive uploading technology is reputed to preserve the quantum states of the matter in the original mind, thus creating an exact copy. Some (but not all) authorities label a copy created in this way as an alpha copy, and certainly no modosophont-level investigation can detect any differences between the original and a godtech 'alpha' copy, but because of the 'no-cloning' theorem it is not possible to preserve the original for comparison.

Beta Copies

Using nanoscale detection equipment, it is possible for engenerator technology to evaluate and reproduce the physical state of a biological sophont's mind. Most forms of engeneration tech use non-destructive technology, so that the original (alpha) copy can co-exist with the second instance. Because this copying does not occur at a quantum level, the resulting instance is known as a beta copy.

Many vecs and aioids use non-classical computing in their mental processing, and so can only be copied to a beta-level of fidelity as well. Some clades (such as the Polarisers) use predominantly quantum-encrypted processing, so cannot be copied in this way at all.

Gamma Copies

A third level of copying technology does not involve the direct physical reproduction of the subject's processing substrate; instead the subject is observed and recorded remotely, and the mind-state is extrapolated from those observations. This is in fact the oldest form of copying technology, developed in the Interplanetary Age before any kind of uploading was possible. The resulting copy is known as a Charactersimm, and includes a psychological model of the behaviour patterns of the original gathered from their actions, conversations and writings (if any). Accurate gamma level copies generally include data taken from biometric monitoring, especially heartbeat and hormone levels.

The most realistic gamma-level simulations include data taken from direct neural interface data, information that is linked directly to the subjects mental processes; the most sophisticated of these is the evocation, a simulation that includes data extracted from the subject's own exoself and exocortex.
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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
From an original entry by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 10 September 2001.

updated july 2017