Disapproval from those disgust sensitive to sexual matters
Another sub-study, where data was collected in Finland, indicated that people disapproved in general of uploading a human consciousness regardless of the target, be it a chimpanzee, a computer or an android.
In a third project, the researchers observed a positive outlook on and approval of the technology in those troubled by death and disapproving of suicide. In this sub-project, the researchers also found a strong connection between individuals who are disgust sensitive to sexual matters and disapproval of the mind upload technology. This type of disgust sensitive people find, for example, the viewing of pornographic videos and the lovemaking noises of neighbours disgusting. The indications of negative links between sexual disgust sensitivity and disapproval of the mind upload technology are surprising, given that, on the face of it, the technology has no relevant association with procreation and mate choice.
“However, the inability to biologically procreate with a person who has digitised his or her brain may make the findings seem reasonable. In other words, technology is posing a fundamental challenge to our understanding of human nature,” reasons Laakasuo.
Digital copies of the human brain can reproduce much like an amoeba, by division, which makes sexuality, one of the founding pillars of humanity, obsolete. Against this background, the link between sexual disgust and the condemnation of using the technology in question seems rational.
Funding for research on machine intelligence and robotics
The research projects above were funded by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, in addition to which the Moralities of Intelligent Machines project has received €100,000 from the Weisell Foundation (link in Finnish only) for a year of follow-up research. According to Mikko Voipio, the foundation chair, humanism has a great significance to research focused on machine intelligence and robotics.