Part 5: 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.

Buy the book here


“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


Can you talk about the darker elements of the story and how they shape the narrative?

Gemini, of course, has a dark side, wreaking havoc as she evolves. But she is still an AI and cannot be considered inherently evil, only enacting the logical consequences of her experiences. By contrast, the Tribe of 23, a SPUD (AI) hating group, demonstrates the human capacity for willful evil. Could that mean that AI might turn out to be better stewards of our world? 

How does the entanglement between Photina and Gemini drive the plot forward?

Shifting points of view in a fiction narrative can be confusing. And maintaining a single POV in a first-person narrative means that nothing can happen in the story outside of the narrator’s awareness. The entanglement became necessary in order to see parts of the story through Gemini’s eyes, adding an important dimension to the story. But once in play, it underscored the connection between them and allowed Photina glimpses of Gemini’s motivation, providing nuance to their struggle. 

What was your favorite part of writing “The Pinocchio Chip”?  

I loved writing the story through Photina’s eyes and imagining how she might describe what she experiences. But I also enjoyed some of the unanticipated twists that the narrative took as I wrote. My stories are roughly outlined in the beginning, but often take on a life of their own as they evolve in my imagination, veering away from the original path. Surprising myself is often more fun than deliberately creating surprises for my readers. And these organic twists are more effective than the planned ones. 

Click here for Part 6!

Click here to return to Part 4!