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Genealogy's New Frontier: AI's Promise and Ethical Conundrums




RootsTech 2024
RootsTech, the world’s largest Genealogy Conference, just wrapped in Salt Lake City, Utah. From Thursday, February 28th until, Saturday, March 2nd, thousands of genealogists, family historians of all levels and life paths, came together to learn, talk, and celebrate Family History - and I was there!

Now, back home in Los Angeles, I’m bringing to you my take away.

Genealogy has been swept up in the artificial intelligence (AI) wave, like many other fields. Over the past year, we've witnessed the rise of generative AI programs boasting their ability to take over tasks traditionally performed by humans – and family history research is no exception.

Major companies like MyHeritage and newer players like EmulateMe have touted their "clever AI" platforms, claiming they allow users to "speak" and "interact" with long-lost ancestors or even historical figures. Meanwhile, organizations like FamilySearch have ventured into AI-assisted full-text searches and research tools. [here is my reaction on TikTok / Instagram]

While some aspects of AI integration appealed to me, such as the prospect of automated note-taking and research tracking, other innovations felt unsettling. The idea of computer-generated simulations resembling and imitating deceased individuals raises ethical concerns about privacy, consent, and the appropriate use of personal data and likenesses.

However, artificial intelligence was one of many focuses at the conference. Away from the main stage, I attended seminars exploring traditional genealogical research methods. These sessions covered topics like DNA analysis, trial record searches, and locating vital information in Eastern Europe that were left war-torn over the past century.

Although AI technologies offer intriguing possibilities for genealogy, their rapid integration warrants careful consideration. As we embrace these advancements, we must strike a balance between technological progress and ethical principles, ensuring respect for the individuals whose histories we seek to uncover.

In other news!! I’m getting ready to launch a YouTube Channel! To ensure you won’t miss a thing, head over to YouTube and subscribe today. I will be talking about how to get started researching your Genealogy and Family History, my own person Family History Journey, and so much more.

I’m also already on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Threads. If you don’t already follow me there, head on over and give me a follow.

Are you, or do you know anyone interested in learning about FREE Genealogy Resources? Well, right now, if you sign up for my newsletter (this newsletter) you can download a FREE eBook that lists 10 Free Websites to Research on.

I you are ALREADY signed up and would like a copy, just send me an email!

SPREAD THE NEWS!!

It’s easy to sign up. All you have to do is scroll down to the and click on the “Sign Up” button and you will be only moments away from a free download.

And lastly, Mother’s Day is coming SOON!! Is your mom, grandmother, or another lovely lady you know wishing to research their family history? Check out The Genealogy Journal. It’s available on Amazon.com. 

You can also give the gift of genealogy, and hire me to help her learn about her family history. Head over to GenealogyByAryn.com to learn more.

Until next time, happy record hunting!!
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