Duck help

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has launched the first beta of DuckAssist, an AI-assisted feature that writes accurate summaries to answer users’ search queries.

DuckAssist uses OpenAI’s natural language technology to generate answers to user’s search queries at the top of the search results page, making answers more direct than traditional search results.

Unlike other generative AI research assistants that use input from thousands of websites, DuckAssist only pulls information from Wikipedia and Britannica, hoping to prevent incorrect information from being used when generating of answers.

This restrained approach also differentiates DuckAssist from the AI-powered synthesizer that Brave Search launched last weekwhich sources its content from news portals, which makes it more susceptible to false or misleading information in some cases.

Sample DuckAssist response
Sample DuckAssist response (DuckDuckGo)

DuckDuckGo explains that Wikipedia was selected as the primary data source for DuckAssist because it is relatively reliable on a wide range of topics, it is a transparent organization, and its sources can be easily traced through listed citations.

The internet company says it still expects DuckAssist to make mistakes, especially when trying to answer complex questions, so users who get strange answers are encouraged to share their feedback in a way anonymous via the link provided under the abstract box.

DuckDuckGo says that for the first trial period, DuckAssist will only activate on user queries for which its (at this time) limited resources can provide straightforward answers.

“You shouldn’t expect to see DuckAssist on many of your searches right now, but the combination of generative AI and Wikipedia in DuckAssist means we can dramatically increase the number of instant answers we can provide, and when it does appear, it will likely help you find the information you need faster than ever. DuckDuckGo.

Regarding the anonymity of search queries, which is at the heart of DuckDuckGo’s values, the company assures that DuckAssist is fully integrated with its private search engine; therefore, user queries or browsing history are not recorded.

Some data must be passed to research content partners like OpenAI and Anthropic, but no personally identifiable information or IP addresses are ever shared with these entities.

DuckDuckGo says DuckAssist will be rolling out to users gradually over the coming weeks, and promises it will be the first of many AI-assisted features it plans to roll out in the coming months.


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