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Meet DuckAssist, DuckDuckGo’s New AI Feature

Although DuckAssist isn’t a chatbot, it uses AI to assist in providing answers to your queries.

An optional artificial intelligence function called DuckAssist was announced on Wednesday by the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo. A beta version of the service is now available to users of DuckDuckGo’s browser add-ons or applications for free.

According to DuckDuckGo, DuckAssist is not a chatbot like ChatGPT or Microsoft’s Bing AI. It is a supplement to the search engine’s current Instant Answers feature. Without requiring you to click on a link in the search results, Instant Answers uses a number of web resources to provide you with an immediate response to your question. DuckAssist can now assist, however it only consults a limited number of sources.

Ask a query in the DuckDuckGo search field, and DuckAssist will look for answers on Wikipedia and, on occasion, Britannica. To condense the response and make it sound more conversational, DuckAssist employs technologies from Anthropic and OpenAI, the companies that created ChatGPT. In addition to providing an answer, DuckAssist includes a link to the Wikipedia or Britannica article it based its response on.

Gabriel Weinberg, the founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, stated in a blog post that for the time being, the best approach to use DuckAssist is to ask questions with clear answers. That implies that questions with quantitative components, such “What is the best Legend of Zelda game?” can be answered more accurately by DuckAssist than questions like “What is the capital of Nigeria?” (But, this author prefers Major’s Mask.)

According to Weinberg, asking a question instead of stating a request will increase the likelihood that DuckAssist will get a response. Also, he noted that adding “wiki” to any query increases the likelihood that DuckAssist will show up if you’re quite certain Wikipedia provides the answer to your query.

Weinberg claims that DuckAssist won’t always produce the right response. The tool may also have trouble providing accurate answers to challenging inquiries.

The quantity of data that the feature can sum up has a limit, according to Weinberg. “Inaccuracies can happen if our relevancy function is off, accidentally leaving out essential sentences, or if there is an underlying mistake in the source material presented,” the website states.

According to DuckDuckGo, DuckAssist is anonymous, does not use user queries to train its AI model, and does not divulge any personally identifiable information to outside parties.

While being in beta, DuckAssist will eventually be made available to all search users, according to DuckDuckGo, assuming the beta test goes well. In the near future, DuckDuckGo also intends to roll out other AI-enhanced search and browsing services.

If you don’t want to utilize DuckAssist, you can can turn it off in the search options. All Instant Answers outside of DuckAssist will likewise be disabled if DuckAssist is turned off.

DuckDuckGo has joined the list of industry giants like Microsoft and Google that have recently made their own AI technologies available to the general public.

Many of these additional tools enable you converse with an AI in a limited way since they are chatbots that are built on OpenAI’s ChatGPT or that were created in opposition to it.

Even with all the hoopla surrounding these tools, AI is still a developing field. Users using ChatGPT should exercise caution, according to Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, in December.

ChatGPT is quite constrained, yet competent enough to give the sense of brilliance, according to Altman’s tweet. “It’s a mistake to depend on it for anything crucial at this time. Although it is a preview of our progress, robustness and veracity still require a lot more effort.”

In an effort to prevent discussions from becoming strange and the chatbot from being confused, Microsoft started limiting the number of responses that its Bing AI may send in February. Afterwards, the restriction was loosened slightly.

Several AI tools, including Microsoft’s Bing AI and Google’s Bard, have also provided incorrect information in their results. According to DuckDuckGo, since just a small number of sources are used by DuckAssist, the likelihood of the tool producing inaccurate information is decreased.