©2024 Donald R. Snow - Page last updated 2024-05-13

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ABSTRACT:  This class discusses Google's Gemini program which is a free AI (Artificial Intelligence) website.  We will discuss AI in general and then Gemini in particular. AI is expanding rapidly with new features, some of which are very helpful in family history and other fields.  This class only discusses text applications, not images, music, or videos. The notes with active links for this and related classes are on my website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo, Utah.
  2. The notes with active URLs and additional information in other notes and articles are posted at .
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address (above) in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. Problem for today:  A short review of AI in general and how to use Google's Gemini, a free AI website.   

  6. AI is sometimes referred to as "large language models" since it searches large text databases for the search terms, i.e. the prompt that you enter, and it brings back and writes a narrative of the words it finds near your search terms. 
  7. Since it assumes that words near your search terms are related to them, you sometimes get information that is not accurate or is unrelated to what you want and all AI websites warn you to check the results before you accept them. 
  8. AI's strong points are that it can find things you didn't know or things you have forgotten and help you organize the information.
  9. AI's weak points are that it may give you items that are not accurate or that don't relate to what you want. 
  10. There are many helpful articles about AI; here is the one in Wikipedia -- .  
  11. Once you get to any AI website, a helpful prompt  is "How do I use the AI website [[URL]?", to learn about any other AI website.  

  13. In your browser type "" to get to Google's free AI Gemini website.   
  14. You can put a bookmark on your Bookmarks toolbar by dragging the icon from in front of the address box to your Bookmarks toolbar (see Item 3 above in these notes). 
  15. For AI websites you usually need an account (free) to use them; for Gemini your Google Gmail account works.
  16. In using AI you enter a prompt (question or statement) that you want information about.  
  17. Gemini's helps are in the "hamburger" menu, the 3 horizontal bar icon in the upper left corner just before the word GEMINI.   

  19. Like all technology, AI can be used for bad purposes, so be careful. 
  20. AI usually warns you and tells you where it found the information, so you can check it before you accept it.  
  21. Since it uses online data, be careful of what you put online or even in AI prompts, since it may end up in the text database for others to see.     
  22. In using AI be specific in what you ask for and when you get the results, sharpen your query by adding more key words.  
  23. You may find it helpful to copy and save the text results in a file so you can review and edit them later without redoing the query.     
  24. Different AI websites give different results, so try your query in more than one.   

  26. "how do I get started using Gemini?" (without the quotes)
  27. "find information about [Ancestor Name] in [location]"
  28. "create a list of websites for digital newspapers in California"
  29. "what should I include in a genealogy class on military records?"  
  30. "what 20 slides should I use for a PowerPoint for a genealogy class about Wisconsin birth records?"    
  31. "find an obituary of [person] from [location]"
  32. "How can I get a copy of my father's WW I military service record?" 

  34. Once you get started, AI is easy to use.
  35. After you get the first results, "sharpen" your query to get information closer to what you want. 
  36. Google's Gemini is a good place to start before trying other AI websites.  

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