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The State of AI Genealogy in Spring 2024

Saturday, April 20, 2024, 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Station
2148 Gallows Rd
Dunn Loring, VA , VA  
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Nathan Shepherd
Member Meeting
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
No Fee

Join Steve Little, AI Program Director at the National Genealogical Society, for a comprehensive and forward-looking discussion on the role of Artificial Intelligence in genealogy. In this insightful talk, Steve will delve into the evolution and current state of AI in genealogy, tracing its journey from its early developments to its revolutionary impact in 2023, to today, and beyond.


Steve will explore the fascinating interplay of genealogy, technology, and language, and how AI tools, particularly large language models like GPT-4, are changing genealogical research and analysis. He'll discuss the technical underpinnings of these AI models, emphasizing their language-based mechanisms and how they've been trained on vast amounts of historical data.


Expect to gain insights into both the triumphs and challenges faced in integrating AI into genealogy. Steve will highlight the practical applications, ethical considerations, and the ongoing journey of mitigating AI's limitations. He'll also speculate on future advancements, focusing on emerging use cases, interaction methods with AI, and the exciting prospects of new AI tools for specialized tasks in genealogy.


Whether you're a seasoned genealogist or new to the field, this talk promises to provide a rich understanding of AI's role in genealogy, equipping you with knowledge and inspiration to harness these tools in your research journey. Get ready to explore how we got here and where we're headed in the dynamic world of AI genealogy.

Steve Little is the AI Program Director for the National Genealogical Society and has lifelong passions for language, technology, and genealogy. He completed graduate-level courses in applied linguistics, specializing in natural language processing and computational linguistics, two pillars of today’s large language models of AI; his first career was spent in and around libraries (law, local, university, and state archives) building information systems. Steve traces his deep roots to one Appalachian county, where, by 1820, all 32 of his 3rd-great-grandparents had settled—many even earlier than that. In fact, 60 of his most recent ancestors were born, lived, and died there, in Ashe County, North Carolina. His passion lies in AI & genetic genealogy: with a keen interest in endogamy, pedigree collapse, deciphering multiple relationships, and an insatiable curiosity to explore beneficial uses and current limits of artificial intelligence in genealogy. Beyond genealogy, Steve wears many hats: he’s a husband and a dad, a Methodist pastor, and a Virginian. His hobbies span from bird watching and sky gazing; to chess and film. Additionally, he’s an avid reader, writer, photographer, and regex script hacker.

A link to handouts will be posted here when they are available.

Fairfax Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 2290

Merrifield, Virginia 22116-2290