The Growing Potential of AI in Genealogy Research
For those researching their family histories and building out their family trees, DNA tests and genetic genealogy have become invaluable tools. DNA tests can connect us with distant relatives and help fill in gaps in the branches of our family trees. However, there is still often missing information even when DNA results are available. This is an area where AI has emerging potential.
AI algorithms are being developed that can take DNA test results from services like Ancestry or 23andMe and analyze them to detect possible relationships between matches. The algorithms assess segments of shared DNA to determine the likelihood that two people share a specific type of familial relationship such as a common ancestor within a certain number of generations.
So if two people have taken DNA tests, an AI app could automatically analyze their results and assess the probability that they share a grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. This could allow genealogy researchers to focus their search on a particular generation in their family tree to find the connection. The app could even tentatively fill in family tree branches with possible missing relatives based on the relationship probabilities assigned through the AI analysis.
These types of AI-driven genealogy apps are still emerging, but hold great promise in helping adoptees search for biological relatives, filling gaps where written records are missing, and allowing hobbyist genealogists break through brick walls in their research more easily. As the algorithms improve in accuracy, this use of AI to unlock genealogical mysteries could open up even more discoveries of our ancestors and relatives from long ago.
The field of AI is advancing rapidly. It will be exciting to see how genealogists and family history enthusiasts can leverage these innovations to gain insights into ancestral connections and create more completed pictures of their family trees. AI is unlikely to replace traditional genealogy research methods entirely, but it may become a useful complementary tool for the savvy genealogist.