July 13, 2024

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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REVIEWS: 

“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

INTERVIEW:

How do you approach writing complex emotional scenes from an AI’s perspective?


Most of the emotional complexity arises from Gemini, who is no longer a purely logical machine, but increasingly feeling. Photina, as narrator, perceives Gemini’s emotions in two ways. She sees the manifestation of these emotions in Gemini’s behavior, which she can describe objectively. Rage, for example, gives rise to violence, jealousy to possessiveness. Photina also gets momentary glimpses of Gemini’s feelings via the entanglement that allows her to share Gemini’s perspective.

How do you approach the moral dilemmas presented in the story?

Moral dilemmas are different for people and for AIs, which have only three commandments: Asimov’s Laws of Robotics. Photina’s decisions rest on how best to fulfill these directives along with her hierarchy of loyalties. Gemini doesn’t appear to have a moral code, seeming to be a narcissist driven by powerful emotions. Later in the story, we discover a more nuanced understanding of her motivations. Eli as a human is aware of his responsibility for the physical and emotional consequences of his actions.

How do you maintain tension and suspense in a story that deals heavily with introspection and philosophy?

I set out first and foremost to write a thrilling story, filled with cliffhangers and a labyrinth of twists. The Pinocchio Chip is a fable with richly embedded meaning that is not spelled out by the narrator, who after all, is an AI that neither introspects nor philosophize.

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