Artificial Intelligence and Genealogy Day

Presentations & Speakers | Virtual AI Day | Registering for AI Day

We are thrilled to disclose below the program details for Artificial Intelligence and Genealogy Day (AI Day). As previously announced, Blaine Bettinger, Daniel Horowitz, Stephen Little, and Jonny Perl will all be joining us on Thursday, June 13th for a day-long dive into AI and genealogy. Paul Jones, well-known Toronto Branch member, will be our host for the day. AI Day will be held at the same venue as OGS Conference 2024, the Delta Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre.

Scroll down to learn about the exciting new “Virtual AI Day” option, as well as information about registering for AI Day, and lunch options.

Click here for a printable PDF version of the following schedule.

AI Day Presentations and Speakers

(in order of appearance)

8:45Welcome and Introductions (Host, Paul Jones)
Opening Session/Introduction to AI Genealogy (Stephen Little)
AI guru Steve Little introduces generative AI and how it will revolutionize genealogy. This session covers foundational skills in AI genealogy and is designed to quickly familiarize family historians with AI’s current limits and possibilities. Full of tangible examples and pithy insights, Steve’s lecture will communicate his passion and excitement for this world-changing technology.
10:3010 Generative AI Prompts Every Genealogist Needs to Know (Blaine Bettinger)
The “prompt” is perhaps the most important aspect of generative AI in that it is how we direct AI tools to give us the output we desire. However, forming these prompts can be challenging and is rarely a one-shot attempt. Legendary authority Blaine Bettinger will identify how to formulate (and reformulate!) AI prompts and will give us ten examples that can save every researcher significant time and effort.
11:30Building Custom Genealogy GPTs (Stephen Little)
Custom GPTs for genealogy, or genealogy bots, assistants, or agents, are artificial intelligence tools created to help family historians and researchers with specific tasks. Such tools represent a method to save a bundle of prompts, custom instructions, and abilities (image analysis, image generation, document reading, etc.) in a profile that can be repeatedly re-used and shared. Steve will show how custom GPTs can be tailored to support specific research workflows.
12:30Lunch – pre-purchased or free time (See details below.)
1:45MyHeritage AI Tools (Daniel Horowitz)
MyHeritage has been leveraging AI to bring family history to life since long before ChatGPT. It now offers the most extensive suite of AI-powered features in the marketplace, including photographic tools (e.g., PhotoDater), research assistance (AI Record Finder), narrative reports (AI Biographer), and next-generation OCR ( MyHeritage’s expert genealogist Daniel Horowitz will illustrate these features and others available today, as well as give a peek ahead at exciting developments yet to come.
3:00“Great Moments”: User Perspectives (Speakers TBA)
In this session, modelled on the hugely popular “great moments” meetings of Toronto Branch OGS and other organizations and dedicated to case studies from the user perspective, presenters share their early, exciting experiences of AI-assisted genealogy. Stay tuned for details of speakers and topics.
4:00Ethical Issues Associated with Generative Artificial Intelligence (Blaine Bettinger)
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a valuable new tool for genealogists, potentially saving 100s of hours a year and offering new ways to organize our research. However, these tools also raise numerous potential ethical issues for genealogists. Blaine will introduce some of these issues including plagiarism, copyright infringement, and more, so that you can avoid problems while exploiting AI tools for your benefit.
5:00Artificial Intelligence and Genealogy Panel Discussion (Moderator, Jonny Perl)
All of our featured speakers gather for the final session of AI Day: a lively panel discussion moderated by self-proclaimed AI non-expert, Jonny Perl, with Steve, Blaine, and Daniel answering Jonny’s “intelligent layperson” questions. Among other topics, we look forward to participants sharing their informed opinions on how future developments in AI and genealogy may transform both traditional and genetic genealogy.

Virtual AI Day

Virtual attendance at AI Day will be possible for anyone who cannot be present in Toronto for Conference weekend or for anyone else who would prefer to attend AI Day virtually. The cost to attend Virtual AI Day will be the same as for in-person attendance. In addition, AI Day will be recorded, and the content will be available until August 1, 2024, for both in-person and virtual attendees of AI Day.

Registering for AI Day

The cost of AI Day, whether attending in-person or virtually, is $99 CAD (approximately $73 USD). To attend AI Day in person or virtually, click here to access the registration page where you can register for AI Day through a number of registration option buttons.

  • Full registration
  • Single day registration
  • À La Carte – AI Day, workshops, tours, and meals

Once you have clicked on your registration button choice, scroll down to the “Thursday – All Day Activities” option; click on the drop-down menu; choose either AI & Genealogy Day – in person or AI & Genealogy Day – virtual; scroll down to Thursday Lunch (if applicable, see below) or directly to Add to Cart and follow the instructions to check out.

For in-person attendees, a sit-down lunch on AI Day is available for purchase. Navigate to the Thursday Lunch option, as above; choose the number of meals and food choices; scroll down to Add to Cart and follow the instructions to check out. If you prefer not to purchase the sit-down lunch, there are a number of restaurant and fast-food options at or near the hotel. The lunch break will run from 12:30 to 1:45.