Definition : To transfer the consciousness and mental structure of a person from a biological (or other) matrix to an electronic or informational or virtual matrix. This process is sometimes called Whole Brain Emulation (although modern uploading techniques also upload a great deal of information about the rest of the persons' physical body). The term 'Downloading' is also sometimes used, mainly to denote transferring the mind to a slower or less spacious matrix.
Uploads are also sometimes called ghosts if the original did not survive the process. These are former modosophonts who have had their brains (and possibly bodies) scanned and turned into a digital emulation.
Uploading was suggested by Alan Turing in the Atomic Age, and became a major research goal during the early Interplanetary Age. However the sheer complexity and difficulty of precisely translating and reproducing the entire human brain with all its encoded memories and experiences, meant that even destructive nanotech uploading was only partially successful prior to the 4th century AT. Early uploads consisted of just parts of the original neural net, with the rest interpolated.
During the Federation Era first destructive and then non-destructive uploading became very sophisticated, allowing the creation of entities that are subjectively identical to the original; the fidelity of these techniques have improved significantly since that time.
In the Current Era non-destructive uploading is the norm, so that an individual is able to create as many copies as necessary. In many cases these copies are stored as inactive data, acting as a backup for use in the event of accident or malicious damage.
Copies may inhabit a virtual environment, and occupy a virtual body. It is also possible for them to download themselves into a suitable equipped vec, android, or biological body, in a process known as incarnation. Given their ontological state a virtual entity can easily make additional copies of themselves or edit their own neural network with the right software. While copies do not age, over time they tend to either get stuck in a static personality or extend themselves beyond recognition in various ways.
Alpha Upload - An uploaded copy with a personality practically indistinguishable from that of the original entity.
Beta Upload - A copy (or a copy of a copy) of the alpha that is degraded somewhat from the original entity
Exemplar - The original entity, whether biont or aioid.
Hijack, Backup hijack - Text by Steve Bowers The crime of illegally copying an uploaded or stored personality, generally obtained during or after the backup procedure. These illegal copies can then be sold on the black market as virtual slaves, for use in computation or for entertainment.
Virtual Rights - Text by Max More in Anders Sandberg's Transhumanist Terminology Rights given for convenience to a partial; these rights are really rights of the person whose partial it is, rather than of the partial itself. Similar in some respects to currently existing corporate rights.