Course: 2024-10 – AI Genealogy Seminars: From Basics to Breakthroughs

Coordinator: Stephen J. Little, Jr.


As the AI Program Director at NGS and a vanguard in the field, Steve Little will navigate participants through the foundational concepts to the frontiers of AI in genealogy. His sessions will chart the evolution of AI, from its early stages to predictive trends in 2024. They will cover practical skills in prompt engineering, bot building and GPT customization, and the latest in AI genealogy advancements. Steve’s comprehensive expertise will provide attendees with the tools to not only grasp AI basics but also to apply sophisticated AI strategies to their genealogical research. The AI Genealogy Masterclasses offer a unique opportunity to learn from the first-hand experiences of industry leaders during the initial year of large language model integration into genealogy. Their insights will shape the course content and provide a diverse perspective on the evolution of this field. Featured experts include Blaine Bettinger, Maureen Taylor, Judy Russell, Dana Leeds, Nicole Dyer, and Mark Thompson.

Other Instructors:

Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD
Nicole Dyer
Dana Leeds
Mary Kircher Roddy, CG
Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL
Maureen Taylor
Mark Thompson

Student Prerequisites:

“Empowering Genealogists with Artificial Intelligence – Level One” or commensurate experience (approx. 20+ hours of hands-on AI genealogy experience).


Current subscription to ChatGPT Plus

All times are listed in Eastern Time.
• Refer to your student’s Dropbox for the full schedule, including breaks. (Provided one week prior to the start of the course)
• Live sessions may be subject to schedule adjustments by your course coordinator.

Day Session Title Description Instructor

10 – 10:30 AM

 Introductions Take this opportunity to connect with your peers and gain insights into what exciting adventures await you this week.
Mon 1

10:30 – 11:45 AM

How We Got Here: AI Genealogy Exploring the evolution of AI in genealogy, tracing its development from early applications to current usage. Little

12:00 – 1:15 PM

The Basics: A Review of AI Genealogy Basic Skills This session covers foundational skills in AI genealogy, which is essential for beginners to start leveraging AI tools. Little

2:15 – 3:30 PM

Discoveries in AI Genealogy with Blaine Bettinger Embark on a unique journey with Blaine Bettinger as he shares his personal explorations and revelations in the world of AI-assisted genealogy over the past year. This course provides an intimate look at their individual experiences, highlighting the triumphs and challenges they encountered while integrating AI tools like ChatGPT into their genealogical practice. Gain an honest, firsthand perspective on what truly works in the evolving landscape of AI genealogy, and learn directly from the discoveries and lessons that have shaped their approach. This course is an invaluable opportunity for anyone interested in the personal impact and practical usefulness of AI in the field of genealogy. Bettinger

3:45 – 5 PM

AI-Enhanced Report Writing: Document Transcription, Summarization, and Adaptation Explore AI tools for efficient genealogy report writing, including Transkribus, ChatGPT, and Claude. Learn how AI can help with accurate transcription of handwritten documents, error detection, summarization of results, and adapting complex topics for varied understanding levels. Dyer
Tue 5

10:30 – 11:45 AM

Beyond the Fundamentals of AI Genealogy Delve deeper into advanced AI genealogy techniques with Steve Little, enhancing research beyond basic skills. Little

12 – 1:15 PM

Prompt Engineering in Summer 2024 Steve Little presents prompt crafting techniques for genealogy-focused AI interactions, forecasting trends for 2024. Little

2:15 – 3:30 PM

Reimagining Roots: Blending Family Photographs with AI Technology This course merges the nostalgia of family history with the innovation of artificial intelligence. It invites participants to explore the transformative potential of AI in enhancing and interpreting family history photographs. During this class, you will learn how to use AI tools to restore, colorize, and analyze old family photographs, bringing to life the stories and contexts hidden within them. The course delves into techniques for digitally archiving these photographs, ensuring their preservation for future generations. Participants will gain insights into how AI can aid in genealogical research, making connections and drawing out narratives from visual cues in family photographs. The course also encourages critical discussions on the ethics and implications of using AI in personal history documentation. Taylor

3:45 – 5 PM

Learn Genealogy Faster with AI Accelerate your family history discovery with ‘Learn Genealogy Faster with AI’. This class introduces cutting-edge AI tools that revolutionize genealogical research, making it quicker and more efficient. Uncover the potential of AI to analyze vast data sets, identify patterns, and bring your ancestral stories to life with greater speed and accuracy. Ideal for both beginners and seasoned genealogists, this class promises a leap forward in your genealogical journey. Thompson
Wed 9

10:30 – 11:45 AM

After Prompt Engineering Explore post-prompt strategies for maximizing AI output in genealogy with expert guidance from Steve Little. Little

12 – 1:15 PM

Building Bots: Custom GPTs Learn to build custom GPTs for genealogy with Steve Little, tailoring AI to specific research needs. Little

2:15 – 3:30 PM

AI Rights and Wrongs: A Genealogist’s Look at Ethics, Copyright, Plagiarism & More In “AI Rights and Wrongs: A Genealogist’s Look at Ethics, Copyright, Plagiarism & More,” Judy Russell, JD, CG, will navigate the ethical quandaries at the genealogy-AI crossroads. This course unpacks the complexities of copyright and plagiarism in the digital age, offering genealogists the tools to ethically harness AI’s potential while respecting legal boundaries. Join us for a thought-provoking exploration of moral and legal best practices in genealogical research. Russell

3:34 – 5 PM

Extra! Extra! AI and Extra-ction This session explores the strategic use of AI for data extraction from historical documents and records. We’ll delve into considering the use of AI for a given task, envisioning the end product, assessing source material quality, creating tailored prompts, and refining AI-generated output. Real-world case studies will showcase practical applications. Roddy
Thu 13

10:30 – 11:45 AM

The OpenAI Playground & Simple Scripting for Genealogists Discover with Steve Little how OpenAI’s Playground and scripting can simplify complex genealogical tasks. Little

12 – 1:15 PM

Latest Developments in AI Genealogy Steve Little discusses the potential and direction of AI in future genealogical research and practices. Little

2:15 – 3:30 PM

My AI Journey: Image Generation and Genealogy Insights Join Dana Leeds as she shares her personal experiences in the world of AI from 2023 to 2024, with a special focus on image generation. This talk will guide you through the practical how-tos of creating vivid, AI-generated images that bring your family history to life. She’ll also discuss the latest developments in AI as they pertain to genealogy, highlighting promising applications and challenges to be mindful of, including the evolving role of AI in genetic genealogy. Additionally, she’ll explore how AI can help streamline tasks, freeing up more of your time for genealogical research. This session is designed to provide both inspiration and practical insights for anyone looking to integrate AI into their genealogical pursuits. Leeds

3:45 – 5 PM

Handwriting Recognition: An Update* Steve Little examines the latest progress in handwriting recognition technology and its applications within AI genealogy, offering insights on recent advancements and future prospects. Little
Fri 17

10:30 – 11: 45 AM

The Future of AI Genealogy Steve Little discusses the potential and direction of AI in future genealogical research and practices. Little

12 – 1:15 PM

Panel Discussion: AI Genealogy Join Steve Little and peers for a dynamic panel discussion on the impacts of AI in genealogy. Little