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DuckDuckGo pilots AI-powered DuckAssist to answer queries quicker

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  • 3 min read

DuckDuckGo launched DuckAssist, an AI-powered tool that uses natural language technology to provide answers in search results. The AI tool is available only on DuckDuckGo’s browsing apps and browser extensions.

DuckAssist is currently in beta testing and is the first in a series of generative AI-assisted features that will be rolled out in the coming months. It will help enhance and quicken the private search and browsing experience of DuckDuckGo.

Amid the rising AI language models, DuckDuckGo’s concerns revolve around providing Instant Answers using DuckAssist which is completely free and anonymous.

According to the company, while OpenAI and Anthropic are their search partners, people’s search and browsing history will be anonymous when using DuckAssist as they won’t need to log in. They also claim that no personally identifiable information like IP addresses will be shared with third parties and the anonymous queries won’t be used to train their AI models.

“DuckAssist is anonymous, with no logging-in required. It’s a fully integrated part of DuckDuckGo Private Search, which is also free and anonymous. We don’t save or share your search or browsing history when you search on DuckDuckGo or use our browsing apps or browser extensions, and searches with DuckAssist are no exception,” DuckDuckGo announced on Wednesday.

The entirety of DuckAssist’s current knowledge for this trial is based on Wikipedia. DuckAssist pulls answers from its downloaded Wikipedia directory, updated up to a few weeks old, meaning that any search asking from newer Wikipedia topics will not be available.

Due to DuckAssist’s reliance on Wikipedia to provide answers to search queries, it can only provide answers for straightforward questions like “what is a vacuum cleaner?” rather than “what is the best vacuum cleaner?”.

Hence, the current DuckAssist tool only appears when the answer to your question is available on Wikipedia pages, which means it won’t be available in all of your searches. Furthermore, the combination of an AI generative tool with Wikipedia is going to fuel the DuckDuckGo search engine to produce faster results.

With ChatGPT and BingAI ushering in generative AI technology, DuckAssist plans on reducing the probability of their AI tool making up any content and answering only when it knows the answer.

DuckAssist will be helpful in the following ways:

  • No logging-in is required for the AI tool to function.
  • It will provide a summary of information from Wikipedia and will attach a source link below this summary to help you learn more.
  • Inaccuracy in DuckAssist’s answers will occur only if the Wikipedia article has an error. You can give your feedback through the anonymous feedback link next to every answer. This feedback only goes to DuckDuckGo and isn’t shared with third parties.
  • DuckAssist will keep a pre-generated answer ready for any given topic searched before. On any new topic, you can click on the ‘Ask’ button and DuckAssist will generate an answer in real-time.

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