“African American Genealogy 2.0: Using ChatGPT to Enhance Your Family History Research”

“Discover the potential of AI in genealogy research with ChatGPT. Learn how ChatGPT can provide information, answer questions, suggest resources, and generate family trees for your genealogy research needs.”

Imagine sitting at your computer with a ton of questions and typing them into Google, or asking Siri. You will find yourself getting nowhere really fast. The internet is full of information and it is becoming even more difficult to find exactly what you are looking for, especially as an African American family researcher.

I have spent the past few weeks, spending hours; I am not exaggerating even a little. Hours with ChatGPT and I am fascinated by the conversation; yes actual conversations that feel very real, that I have been having with AI.

We have talked about everything from Sierra Leone to the colonialism of Liberia to the Vai script of the Vai people. What I have really enjoyed is that I often am given bits of information that I did not know, I did not know, which has led to even more questions.

So this morning, things got real. I want to sit and ask chatGPT what it was actually capable of and how it could be of assistance in Genealogy research.

“ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI. It is based on transformer architecture and is trained on a large dataset of diverse text from the internet. ChatGPT is designed to generate human-like text and answer questions based on its training data.”

ChatGPT can help with genealogy research in several ways:

  1. Providing information on historical events and figures: ChatGPT can provide information on historical events and figures that may be relevant to genealogy research, such as wars, migrations, and famous people.
  2. Answering questions: If you have specific questions about genealogy research, ChatGPT can help by providing answers and information based on its training data.
  3. Suggesting resources: ChatGPT can suggest online and offline resources that may be helpful for genealogy research, such as archives, genealogy websites, and books.
  4. Generating family trees: ChatGPT can generate simple text-based family trees based on information provided by the user.

It’s important to note that while ChatGPT can provide helpful information and resources for genealogy research, it may not always be accurate or up-to-date. Additionally, some aspects of genealogy research may require specialized expertise or access to historical records, so it’s always a good idea to verify the information and seek out additional resources as needed.

The more I use ChatGPT the more benefits I am finding to use it in my research. It has its limits, but it beats a basic google search and provides more relevant and accurate results compared to Alexa, Siri, and Google. While ChatGPT is limited to text, I am finding it to be an amazing tool to use and highly suggest all Genealogy researchers use it.

Some limitations to ChatGPT:

  1. Data cut off: As an AI language model, ChatGPT has a knowledge cutoff of 2021, so it may not be up-to-date with more recent events or advancements in genealogy research.
  2. Relying on training data: ChatGPT’s accuracy is limited to the quality and accuracy of the training data it was exposed to. It may not be able to provide information on topics that were not covered in its training data, or it may provide incorrect information if the training data was inaccurate.
  3. Limited to text: ChatGPT is limited to text-based interactions, so it may not be able to provide visual aids or multimedia resources that could be helpful for genealogy research.
  4. Potential for misinformation: Like all AI systems, ChatGPT is susceptible to misinformation and biases in its training data. It’s important to verify the information provided by ChatGPT with multiple sources to ensure accuracy.