So mallquis, then, are A.I.s based on a scan of a person’s brain at some point before their death. Not every person gets scanned as a mallqui, in part because you can’t put it off until after they’ve died, and they may not last forever, but this is common practice in this society. Most religions accept this practice on the assumption that what remains does not include the person’s soul. Though some religions may hold a different view.

Mallqui is a Quechua (i.e. Incan) word. In Native Andean culture, the ruling classes would preserve the bodies of the departed as a source of power and link to the past, sometimes providing them with lavish palaces to live in, and carry them out on special occasions to be viewed.

↓ Transcript
Panel 1: Nani-ji: "Tell me, Maida-- Do Martians honour their dead by preserving their personalities as AIs?"
Panel 2: Maida: "Many families do, ma'am. All of my family's surviving mizimu are stored at a great aunt's house, I think."
Panel 3: Nani-ji: "Well! Your people are doing better than the Venusians, then! They don't even record mallquis, generally."
Panel 4: Nani-ji: "Not that I'm complaining, mind! I'd ravver enjoy my deaf in peace wiff my own family, know'amean?" Davinder: "Ha ha."
Panel 5: Davinder leads Maida further down the hallway. Davinder: "That's Saranjit's room. Ignore that. My room is the next one." Saranjit sits on a cushioned ledge beside a large window, working on a keyboard and holographic screen. She glances over.