Rootstech and generative AI

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted their annual family history research conference. Rootstech 2024 welcomed people worldwide to learn how to find connections with their ancestors.

Generative AI is the big news at Rootstech 2024. Family Search said it is a game changer in helping people connect with their family past and present.

Rootstech has been using AI for years but Rootstech director, Jen Allen, said innovations are moving the family research industry in huge ways.

“Generative AI, to family history, is just going to speed things up so much,” Allen said. “There is so much that we have to dig through to find records and to find our family in those records. And these computers are doing it for us.”

Anna Marie Zanchelli has enjoyed Rootstech online from her home in Long Island. This was her first year to attend classes in person.

The Rootstech 2024 theme was “Remember.” As part of the conference, FamilySearch created a short film to help people understand the power of remembering and being remembered. (courtesy of FamilySearch)

“I wanna learn more about technology to tell the stories of my ancestors and others,” Zanchelli said.

Linda Hargraves and her daughter, Alison Lowe, have been attending the conference since the beginning of Rootstech.

They said they are excited about advancing genealogical research out of the Paper Age.

“Oh! I’m just thrilled,” Hargraves said. “And now these new programs that they’re putting into place, hallelujah!”

Lowe traveled to Salt Lake City from Dallas. She said learning at the conference is a priority for her family.

“It’s connecting at the expo hall,” Lowe said. “I just love it because we’re all the same nerds.”

Rootstech attracted a record-breaking four million participants who joined thousands of free online classes.

Additionally, more than 15,000 people traveled to the Salt Palace to attend hundreds of classes in person.

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