MyHeritage Deploys Generative AI Tools to Discover and Tell Stories of Family History and Genealogy
Online genealogy platform MyHeritage has employed generative AI to create two new tools for finding records and stories of family history. MyHeritage’s AI Record Finder and AI Biographer features apply OpenAI’s large language models (LLMs) to explore and preserve genealogical information and explain who the people are beyond the raw data, respectively.
The AI Record Finder feature provides a generative AI chatbot that can assist users in locating and combing through historical records on their ancestors and broader family tree from MyHeritage’s database of 20 billion records. The conversational interface asks clarifying questions and narrows down searches to find relevant documents like census forms, immigration logs, and marriage certificates. The located records can be reviewed and saved to family trees on the platform.
Once that information is put together, the AI Biographer feature can take up the task of telling stories of the people in the records. The AI tool automatically compiles the collected facts and uses context from the records at the same times and places to compose a Wikipedia-style life article about those ancestors, even if they have no other existing biography. It’s a bit reminiscent of how advertising idea studio 2Player used ChatGPT to fill out an ad campaign for online family tree creator Storied with fictional family histories. This time, though, the stories and facts are real and accurate. MyHeritage believes that these AI tools establish a new paradigm in family history research by streamlining the often tedious records research and making it more conversational and narrative-based.
“We’re constantly pushing the boundaries of genealogy to reinvent the way people can discover their family history as we implement a bold vision for genealogy in the 21st century,” MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet explained. “AI Record Finder is a disruptive feature that simplifies the way people can find information about their ancestors by making the search easier and more intuitive. AI Biographer curates the details about a person’s life into a compelling story.”
Both of the new tools rely on OpenAI’s LLMs to power their services. Along with the basic elements of the APIs, AI Record Finder also offers both casual and formal conversational modes. And while AI Biographer is centered around text, it can also enrich the biographies it composes with far-ranging historical context, photos, and documents. MyHeritage is initially offering both tools for free to a limited extent, with unlimited use as part of a paid subscription.
“Not all our ancestors were famous, but they all deserve to be remembered!” Japhet said. “Together, these cutting-edge features strengthen MyHeritage’s position as the industry leader for innovative genealogy and continue our mission to make family history easier, more accessible, and more fun for everyone.”