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Time travelling chatbots – Adding AI to 1980’s robots with Node.js

Session scheduled at 10:30-11:20 in Room 3 (Ski-U-Mah)

In 1985, TOMY released a toy robot called Chatbot. Just a simple toy, it never got to fulfill its true destiny as a conversational, artificial intelligent, chatbot—until now. In this talk we bring this robot kicking and screaming into the 21st century. First, we replace its dusty, cold-war era circuits with internet-connected microprocessors, then we give it a brain running on a Node.js server that performs speech recognition, speech synthesis, and language understanding to make it a true chatbot. While you may not have your own Reagan-era robot to recreate this this temporal violation, you’ll learn how to build AI-powered Node.js apps for any century.


  • Node.js and hardware
  • Using REST-based AI Services
  • Building Chat Bots

Attendee Skill Level: Intro JavaScript or Node devs

Presented By

David Washington

David Washington is a self-proclaimed hacker. He’s Microsoft veteran of 12 years, where he’s led the developer teams that built the user experience the Windows Explorer, new form factors and the touch keyboard. He’s picked up awards for winning hacks at TechCrunch Disrupt, he’s regularly asked to speak at technical conferences around the US, and has delivered developer sessions at PDC, BUILD, MidwestJS, MobileMarch, KCDC and HDC. Besides holding multiple design and utility patents, he is continually building projects with open source, IoT, iOS, and the mobile web. David has a particular passion for working with non-technical people to enable things that have never been done with technology before. Currently, he’s a Director of developers at Microsoft, where his team works to help and enable startups, students and independent developers around the US do more.

Follow @dwcares on Twitter