Posted by Ancestry Team on August 19, 2013 in Events, Speaking

ACOM-GirlReadingWhen we think about Big Data we often envision charts, graphs and spreadsheets, but what if we could use that same data to produce detailed stories about interesting subjects or people?

Increased pressure to find meaning in mounds of data—in real-time and at scale—has given rise to technology that analyzes and turns individual data points into bite-sized prose and, in some cases, fascinating personal stories.

Take for example, the man who was responsible for spreading the Spanish Influenza that ultimately killed more than 20 million people worldwide.  Imagine instantly weaving together a history about this man’s life and his family’s journey to the U.S. through technology that mines historical data kept in records.

If selected to speak at SxSW Interactive, Executive Vice President of Product Eric Shoup, will discuss how using AI-based technology can bring depth and meaning to massive amounts of data and, in turn, the stories presented to end users.

Your vote matters! Please vote for Eric’s presentation to be selected via the SxSW PanelPicker:

PanelPicker voting will close on Friday, September 6 (11:59 PM CST).



About Eric Shoup:

Eric Shoup has over fifteen years of experience in high-tech development, product management, professional services and general business management, where he combines exceptional technical understanding and analytical ability with outstanding product marketing. He has served as’s Executive Vice President of Product since February 2012. He joined the Company in August 2008 as Vice President of Product. Prior to joining the family history giant, Eric was at eBay for more than five years, where he focused on growing the eBay Stores product and ProStores business unit and also assembled and led eBay’s global mobile product team. Prior to eBay, Eric was a Director of Product Management at Commerce One, a leading provider of B2B e-commerce solutions and worked at US Interactive, designing and managing consumer e-commerce and marketing Web sites for established companies such as Lexus and Wellcome Supermarkets (Hong Kong). Eric holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


  1. Sandra

    Your advertisement says this is free. It is not free and that is false advertisement, which is illegal. It seems odd to me this organization hasn’t been sued for false advertisement. This service is not free and should not be advertised as such.

    • Kristie Wells

      Hi Sandra, the basic service is free and you can build your tree and search our database one of two ways:

      (1) You can sign up for a free 14-day trial. It will require a credit card, but as long as you cancel before the end of the 14th day, it is 100% free of charge.
      (2) You can sign up for a guest account where no credit card is required. You can find instructions on setting up this account at

      Hope that gives you a path to using our service without paying for it.

  2. John

    This sounds like an interesting presentation. What other opportunities will there be to hear it whether or not it gets selected for SxSW Interactive?

  3. Audrey Babbitt

    What is FREE?? I have paid for many years to use and have been very satisfied.

    But FREE? Tell me about it.

  4. Annie

    What is this? What purpose will it serve genealogy, or me? Explain in plain English. And you had better hurry! September 6 is right around the corner.

  5. Ellen Thorne Morris

    Idea sounds great. Have trouble accepting that one person was the start of the great flu. No DNA to use then, or did patient catch it from a monkey like one of the legends of AIDS?

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