©2024 Donald R. Snow - Page last updated 2024-04-03
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ABSTRACT:  AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a means of finding information in narrative or outline form for text applications.  There are free and commercial (paid) versions.  Some of the uses of AI in genealogy are behind the scenes in searching, but others are things we can use ourselves.  
This presentation here include the major free AI websites of Microsoft's Copilot, Google's Gemini, and Open AI's ChaptGPT.  The notes for this and earlier classes are on my website and videos of somme previous classes are on on the UVTAGG YouTube channel.   The notes have active inks for the websites.  The website with my notes is at .


  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 to discuss:  What AI is how to use some of the free versions. 

  6. AI is sometimes referred to as "large language models" since it searches large text databases for the search terms or question you enter and and it writes a narrative script 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 meaningless to your query, so you need to check it out before accepting it. 
  8. Some of AI's strong points are that it may help you find things you didn't know or things you have forgotten and help you organize the information.
  9. For most AI websites y have to set up an account (free) to use them, but some new websites are not reqirring this. 
  10. Many helpful articles about AI are online; here is the link to one in Wikipedia -- .  
  11. RootsTech 2024 had several classes on AI in family history -- go to-- -- and search for AI in the search box.  There were 114 classes that mention it.  James Tanner taught a 3-hour in-person series (so not online now) on AI and his 45-page pdf handout is downloadable from any of these three AI classes for 2024.
  12. Once you get to an AI website, you can ask "how do I use [AI website]?"

  14. Microsoft's Copilot -- ; If you use Windows, you already have a Microsoft account.  Form a bookmark by dragging the icon from in front of the address to your bookmarks bar or to your desktop (see Item 3 above in these notes); type your query into the box at bottom labelled "Ask Me Anything" and click the icon at end of that line (Submit).
  15. Google's Gemini (was called Bard) --  -- If you have a Gmail address, you already have a Google account and can use Gemini.   
  16. Open AI's ChatGPT --   -- ChatGPT   -- type in your query where it says "Message" and click the up-arrow at the right end (Submit) -- version 3.5 is free, and is from Jan 2022 -- later versions are commercial, so you have to pay to use them.      
  17. AI Genealogy Insights -- --Steve Little's website about using AI in Genealogy. 
  18. To find other free AI websites, ask one of the above to list others. 
  19. Be sure to check the results before accepting anything fromm an AI website. 

  21. Like all technology, AI can be used for bad purposes, so be careful. 
  22. AI usually tells you where it found the information, so you can check it before you accept it.  
  23. Since it uses online data, be careful of what you put online or even post in AI in questions, so AI can't pick up personal or private information. 
  24. In using AI be specific in what you ask for and, when you see the results, restate your query so the results are closer to what you want.  
  25. Different AI websites give different results, so try your query in more than one.  
  26. You may find it helpful to copy and save the text results in a file so you can review and edit them more later without having to redo the query.     

  28. "how do I get started and use copilot?"
  29. "What is the history of the Virtual Genealogical Association?"
  30. "find information about [Ancestor Name]"
  31. "create a list of websites for digital newspapers in California"
  32. "what should I include in a genealogy class on military records?"  
  33. "What slides should I include in a 20-s,jde  PowerPoint  for a genealogy class about Wisconsin birth records"    
  34. "How can I get a copy of my father's military service record?" 

  36. Once you get started using AI, it is easy to work with.
  37. After you get the first results, "sharpen" your query to get information closer to what you want. 
  38. The free AI websites may be enough to help with your questions, but you may get better results from the commercial ones. 

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