I consider Mind Backups to be one of the most difficult capabilities in my universe. I think it’s possible but it’s hard to know how much time the process would take and how accurate it would be, without already being able to do it. We don’t have a full understanding of the human brain yet, so we don’t know what information we would need to make a duplicate. For my universe, I am trying to be conservative, with a worse-case scenario. The two main capabilities we would need is the ability to collect the required information without destroying the information in the process and the capability of storing that amount of information.
For memory storage, we already have a decent idea of what is possible within the limits of our universe’s laws of physics. Current Areal memory density of today’s Solid State Drives is around 3 terabits per square inch. DNA in contrast could have an Areal Density as high as 150 terabits per square inch. Using a layer of Graphene with a nanomachine layer no thicker than a neuron to read and write to individual carbon atoms, you could have an Areal Density as high as 688 terabits per square inch. There are also other physical phenomenon such as spin that may even allow individual atoms, like the carbon in Graphene to have more than two values, making it even denser since it wouldn’t be limited to binary. With a memory density of 688 TBpsi, you could fit an entire human mind, every atom, every velocity and position, down to picometer precision in a space smaller than a penny. In all likelihood we would not need to store that much redundant information to store a human mind. Most of the neurons have unique shapes but they are made up of the same molecules. You don’t need to store every atom when you can just record molecule type and orientation. You may also be able to compress it further by just storing the finished shape of the neuron and have a computer deduce the molecule orientations to create that shape. We will definitely be able to store this much information eventually.
The more difficult part is getting all that information. The only way really is to use nanomachines, artificial or biological, such as genetically engineered viruses. You would most likely need millions of different nanomachines, each specialized in collecting a specific type of information. You may have a nanomachine for each type of receptor, and when that nanomachine is randomly bouncing around and discovers the right receptor, then it sends coordinates to a remote computer. The nanomachine would have to be designed to avoid triggering an immune response and probably have to be kept at a low enough of a concentration to prevent damage and disruption of the brain’s processes. The nanomachines would be bouncing around randomly, they will inevitable miss spots, duplicate areas, etc. They could map all the 3-dimensional shapes of the neurons, glial cells, axons, dendrites, etc. They could also map the positions of all the receptors. There is still other information locked away inside of a cell. It may be possible for a small enough of a nanomachine to non-destructively enter a cell and record the information it needs there. We may not be able to directly measure all the information we need but we may be able to record enough information, that an artificial intelligence could use it’s massive experience in human neurology to deduce the rest to fill in the gaps. The accuracy of the deductions could be increased further by using an Artificial Reality with all 5 senses, generating content and analyzing neurological reactions. This process could be very slow, it may take months in a medically induced coma to create a mind backup.
If making mind backups is extremely difficult with the human brain, we may still do it. Once we have a backup of the human mind, we can design a new brain, that has an interface and mechanisms to make mind backups and downloads more efficient and accurate. Once people make the leap from human to post-human, they will be able to upload their mind to a computer, restore backups in the event of death, download their minds into new genetically engineered bodies, even super intelligent dragons, into super advance android bodies that can pick up and throw dump trucks, and any other vessel you can imagine.
Another way Fractal Federation uses Mind Transfer is for interstellar colonization. It deploys self-replicating probes, that spread throughout the galaxy, building up infrastructure and colonists use interstellar mind transfer, to beam their digitized minds at the speed of light across the vast emptiness of interstellar space.