The technology to create mind-states from naturally evolved creatures has existed for billions of years prior to the 30th century CE.
Mind-states are ultimately intended to be used to create new instances of an entity, either as a Virtual entity within Virtualities, or as a Real entity through revention. Inactive mind-states could be stored for extended periods of time.
A mind-state may be duplicated, each potentially becoming a concurrent - or child - instance of the parent personality. Each instance is a complete and independent individual. Mind-states from different individuals may share information or even merge with each other; an individual may use this to gain the experiences from differing child instances.
Neural laces could be designed to record a high-fidelity mind-state from its host. Laces that had years to grow with and co-exist with its host's brain could mirror the host's mind in very fine detail; a mind-state could be extracted quickly from such a the lace at any time.
A neural induction device used on a dying biological entity for a few seconds may produce a low-fidelity mind-state.
The technology to record, or map, mind-states is an expected development once a civilization reaches a certain stage of development.
The Culture attached metadata to mind-states, which included basic identification information like the entity's name. Reading mind-state's fell under the Culture taboo against reading minds without permission; without metadata, it was impossible to glean any information from the mind-state without querying an instantiation of it.
A mind-state abstract is a limited non-sapient version of a mind-state used as an intelligent virtual agent for specific tasks. Abstracts are interactive enough to have conversations with. They are superior to simpler seeker-agent programs in the intelligence role.
- Surface Detail, chapter 5
- Excession, chapter 1.2
- Excession, chapter 10.7
- Surface Detail, chapter 7
- Look to Windward, chapter 2
- Excession, chapter 2.2
- Look to Windward, chapter 8
- The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 11
- Look to Windward, chapter 13
- The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 18
- Excession, chapter 9.5
- Surface Detail, chapter 21
- The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 21
- Excession, chapter 7.1
- Excession, chapter 1.3