Sometimes, it’s really, really useful to have more than one of yourself around.
Producing an alpha fork is trivial – just copy yourself off and let it run. For anything else, you’ve got to do some work. Creating a beta fork with standard utilities requires a Software check, and the result will have your memories & skills mostly intact. In some jurisdictions (mainly in the Outer System) a beta fork of this type is considered an independent person after 6mo-1yr. More in-depth pruning requires a Medicine (psychosurgery) check. This method allows the fork to be specialized for certain of your skills, and inconvenient memories (such as your bank PIN #, or those crimes you committed) can be removed. A delta fork amounts to an imprint of your personality onto a standard AI core. If a loved one wanted your imprint for their muse, this is what you’d give them. It could probably answer your e-mails, but probably couldn’t do your homework.
From time to time, It’s also useful to go back to being one of you rather than many.
Standard software can handle merging forks who’ve been apart for a couple of weeks without too much trouble, but a month is pushing it. A skilled psychosurgeon can re-integrate forks who’ve been apart for extended periods of time, but most won’t touch those who’ve been separated for more than a standard year – the risk of memory loss is unacceptably high. (In such cases, it’s more recommended to copy memories into XP recordings and live one anothers’ interim in time-accelerated simulspace. If one can afford or call in favors to get the current state of the art 60x time dilation, it takes about 6dy/yr of re-lived time.)
Merging always produces fewer minds than you started with, but a failed roll will result in incomplete recovery of memories from the less-complicated member of the merge. If two alpha forks are merging, which memories are lost is random (roll a Fate die: (-) is all from one, (+) is all from the other, and blank is some from each).