©2024 Donald R. Snow - Page last updated 2024-01-125
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ABSTRACT:  AI (Artificial Intelligence) is helpful in many ways and very much so in family history.  This class will show some free AI websites and give some ideas of how to use it in genealogy.  These include finding sources for records of various types and locations and how to do various genealogical tasks.  There are free and commercial AI websites, but this class will only discuss free ones.  What AI finds can be used or disregarded, depending on its accuracy and your interests.  The notes and other related information, all with active internet links, is posted on .


  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 is AI and how do you use some free AI websites in family history.  

  6. AI has been around for many years, but wasn't called that until Fall of 2021; e.g.,  Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Google's Google Assistant, are all AI.
  7. As James Tanner pointed out in a recent UVTAGG presentation about it, it is neither artificial nor intelligent; it's just computer assisted searching; Tanner will be doing a 3-hour presentation on AI at RootsTech in Feb-Mar 2024.
  8. AI is based on language and searches 1000s of posted documents for words near the search terms you enter, since those may be related to the topic.  Hence, it can never "think ahead"beyond what has already been written and posted online somewhere.
  9. AI can be used for bad purposes, just like any technology, but you can check the results yourself, since it gives you the links where it found the info and you can use or ignore the results.
  10. AI programs are sometimes referred to as "large language models", since they depend on large collections of online text.
  11. Since it uses text online, be careful of what you write and post, since you never know where it may end up; for example, don't post personal information online. 
  12. To use an AI website, you usually have to set up an account (free). 
  13. Some of AI's strong points are that it may help you find things you didn't know or have forgotten and will help you organize the information.
  14. Some browsers, e.g. Chrome and Edge, have AI components; Chrome's is called Gemini and costs money to use; Edge's is called Copilot and has a free version.
  15. In using AI, I find it helpful to copy and paste the results into a text file so I can decide what to use and wha to delete.
  16. Many helpful articles about AI are online; here is the link to one on The Family History Guide Blog - or search for "AI history" on

  18. Microsoft's Copilot -- simplest way to get to it is  go to type "" (no quotes) into any browser, e.g. Chrome; can then form a bookmark by dragging the icon from in front of tthe address to your bookmarks bar or to you desktop (see Item 3 above in these notes); to use Copilot scroll down to the box that says "ASK ME ANYTHING" and type in yoru query; then click the arrow at the right (Submit)..   
  19. Open AI's ChatGPT --   -- (ChatGPT  means "Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer" and Microsoft owns a large portion of Open A -- 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 --the current version is commercial, i.e. it costs money.  .  
  20. Summarize It -- -- this is free and uses AI to summarize any YouTube video. 
  21. There are many other free AI websites. 

  23. "create a list of websites with death records for Louisiana"
  24. "find information about ... in .......
  25. "find articles about Dr. Eldon S Snow, DDS, in Los Angeles newspapers"
  26. "find an obituary of [person]from [location]"
  27. "How can I get a copy of my father's military service record?" 
  28. "create an outline of the history of Portugal."
  29. "where are Congregational Church records for Massachusetts in the 1600s?" 

  31. Once you get to any AI website, you can ask "how do you use ChaptGPT?" or other such questions. 
  32. Try your question in more than one AI website, since you may get additional results.   
  33. you need to check the results before accepting them.
  34. The free AI websites may be enough to help with your questions, but you gt better results from the commercial ones. 

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