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


What future projects or themes are you interested in exploring next?  

The Pinocchio Chip feels like an appropriate coda to complete the Brink of Life series. I’ve considered a sequel to my psychological mystery Shared Madness. I’ve also become increasingly intrigued by end of life issues, including the liminal space between life and death, and by psychedelic experiences. And I would love to hear what readers might want to hear from me next. 

How does Photina’s quest for emotions mirror human experiences?  

We all live in a dynamic equilibrium between feeling and unfeeling states. Psychological defenses protect us from some of our most painful emotions and conflicts. And we have a vast repertoire of emotion numbing behaviors, particularly addictive behaviors ranging from substance abuse to doom scrolling on our screens. We also have access to techniques to reclaim our emotions and make peace with them, including mindfulness meditation and various psychotherapies, including those that expose us to our fears. So perhaps the irony of our technology is that it may be making it more difficult to cling to our humanity and is turning us into AI. 

How do you ensure your AI characters have distinct voices and personalities?

Distinguishing Photina’s from Gemini’s voice was easy. Photina is constrained by her logical perspective. She is understated, matter of fact, dealing with challenges as they come in the most reasonable way. She is the adult in the room. Gemini is a narcissist, larger than life, strident, driven by her newly minted emotions, and as self-centered and impulsive as a two-year-old. 

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