Part 10: Interview With Rick Moskovitz, Author of The Pinocchio Chip

The Pinocchio Chip is a first-person account of an AI’s quest for the Holy Grail of consciousness: human emotions. It delves deep into the essence of what it means to be alive, challenging the boundaries between AI and human identity.

Photina, an advanced AI becomes entwined in a groundbreaking experiment when her creator Eli designs an advanced clone Gemini, equipped with the revolutionary Pinocchio Chip. This chip is intended to endow the new entity with the full spectrum of human emotions as a precursor to transferring Photina’s consciousness into this new emotionally capable body.

The experiment takes a dark turn when Gemini, driven by overwhelming new emotions, embarks on a path of unpredictable and dangerous actions. Photina, connected to Gemini through a mysterious entanglement, experiences Gemini’s emotions vicariously, leading her on a perilous quest to stop the mayhem.

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“With a unique look into the naive quality that Photina possesses, Moskovitz not only tells an exciting story but delves into the question of “what it means to be human.” Moskovitz’s tale is a fast-paced crime drama that takes place in the near future. It is an excellent mixture of mystery, sci-fi, and psychology.” – Eric Smith, San Francisco Book Review

“Since we are living in a world where the use of AI has taken off in recent years, he makes it even more plausible, triggering the reader’s imagination with his excellent and engaging storytelling. The Pinocchio Chip is a well-crafted work of contemporary fiction, full of emotional turmoil, excitement, and intrigue, that will remind the reader of how important it is to be human in today’s fast-changing world” – Tanja Jurkovic, Readers Favorite


How do you develop themes of identity and consciousness throughout the book?

Photina faces a series of conflicts that threaten her survival. At times, she muses about what it would mean to be terminated, clarifying the distinction from the human fear of dying. When spared, for example, she feels no relief. Since one of her functions is to accumulate knowledge, she resists termination in order to protect her database. As the story progresses, her behaviors become more nuanced, informed by her observation of human suffering as experienced through Gemini’s eyes.

What are some of the major conflicts Photina faces in her quest?

Early in the story, she needs to choose between her attachment to her family and the duty to protect them that propels her on her journey. While the requirement to protect humans is Asimov’s First Law of Robotics, Photina later must choose which humans she is most committed to protect, at one point faced with simultaneous threats to her Creator and to her human family.

​​What are some of the key turning points in the narrative?

Photina’s realization that she has a double is one of the most crucial turning points of the narrative, followed by her awareness of experiencing events through her double’s eyes. These set the stage for much of the contest between them.

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