One of the common benefits of artificial intelligence is its ability to ingest vast quantities of data using machine learning and respond to questions on that data using natural language processing.
One area that has already been benefiting from AI for several years is genealogical research.
Americans are seemingly obsessed with finding their family roots and are opening their wallets to do so.
According to Polaris Research, genealogy products raked in $3.5 Billion with the market expected to grow to over $10 billion within the decade.
Many popular genealogy websites have been using AI-powered tools to provide assistance to researchers by culling through thousands of documents, newspapers, and other resources that contain connections that would be difficult for individuals to find themselves.
One of the challenges researchers face is reading old handwritten documents and notes.
Ancestry.com introduced a proprietary AI-powered tool in 2022 that can translate handwriting into searchable data.
The company had previously taken handwritten notes from the 1940 US census and had a small army manually transcribe them meticulously over a nine-month period.
Using its AI tool, the company was able to transcribe all of the notes from the 1950 census in just nine days.
Tools like ChatGPT can be used to help point researchers in the right direction with general Internet searches and the ability to ask questions, refine results, and receive generative AI short biographies of ancestors.
Other tools like Google Translate are used to help provide translated documents for researchers to look at documents from places of origin.
With more and more paper-based records getting digitized around the world each year, it can be easy for people to get lost in the sheer amount of data which is where AI can help make sense of the details.