When coming up with ideas for my writing, many of my ideas come from family stories. Some are stories from my family, but others are stories I have heard about from others. While I cannot copy those stories, I can use them as a starting point. I enjoy crafting a story about the complicated nature of family. This a fabulous reason to do genealogy. Most of us cannot imagine the stories we might uncover by starting a family genealogy project. All you have to do is watch a few episodes of Finding Your Roots or Who Do You Think You Are to get inspired.
One of the newest aspects of genealogy that isn’t promoted on these shows or in advertising, which focuses more on DNA than on this, is how artificial intelligence is being used to bring our ancestors to life. MyHeritage.com offers this to their subscribers via a software program called Deep Nostalgia. Here is an example usiinng a photo of my great-great grandmother, Kjerstie Larson Olson (click on the image):
I think you’d all agree that this is astounding. Using this program, we can see our ancestors as 3-dimensional people, rather than 2-dimensional photographs. You gain a sense of humanity. Putting this together with the written records of our ancestors, we have more of a sense of who they may have been.
There are some in the public sphere who are frightened by this. There is fear of nefarious usage of AI enhanced photos for identity theft. That may very well be a legitimate concern; however, the geniuses who gave us this should also have the ability to mark the meta data or the image itself that it is AI generated and not for any legal use to include using the image for the creation of robots replicating the individual shown in the image. I am not an computer guru, but I feel like there should be away to accomplish this so that everyone can enjoy what this intelligence allows us to do in the area of history. Can you imagine being a student and being able to watch Abraham Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address? It has not come that far yet, but I suspect it will be possible in the years to come.
I hope you will check this out and bring your ancestors to life!