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Introducing DuckAssist by DuckDuckGo

With AI quickly becoming the latest fashion in IT, it’s not surprising to see more and more companies jumping on the bandwagon. DuckDuckGo, known as a privacy-centric search engine, recently started their journey in the realm of AI. However, it might not be exactly what you think.

What is DuckAssist?

Currently available for official DuckDuckGo browser extensions and apps, DuckAssist is the newest AI platform to hit the market. However, it isn’t a simplified chatbot like Bing AI or ChatGPT. In fact, DuckAssist is an actually an add-on to an existing feature of DuckDuckGo known as Instant Answers.

Instead of drawing for a wide variety of generic data sources, however, DuckAssist specifically searches Wikipedia and Britannica for its answers. It then uses pre-existing AI technology to summarize the findings and present them in a human-like, conversational tone. The exact Wikipedia and Britannica pages are also linked within the response.

Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, provided some further insight into DuckAssist, including information on how it differs from other AI solutions on the market today. He said: “Generative AI technology is designed to generate text in response to any prompt, regardless of whether it ‘knows’ the answer or not. However, by asking DuckAssist to only summarize information from Wikipedia and related sources, the probability that it will ‘hallucinate’ — that is, just make something up — is greatly diminished. In all cases though, a source link, usually a Wikipedia article, will be linked below the summary, often pointing you to a specific section within that article so you can learn more.”

What is Instant Answers?

For DuckDuckGo users who aren’t aware, Instant Answers is a longstanding feature of the popular search engine. It’s a search engine tool that attempts to answer search queries in a clear, accurate, and concise manner. Instead of simply providing a list of thousands of websites, Instant Answers tries to narrow down these results in order to provide the most relevant results. These often appear in the form of snippets or cards that are displayed at the top of any given search results page.

Instant Answers provides DuckDuckGo users with a myriad of different benefits, including:

• Privacy: DuckDuckGo and, by default, Instant Answers, is centered on privacy. Personal user data, including search history, is not tracked.
• Time-Saving and Accuracy: DuckAssist automatically filters and refines their search results for greater accuracy and efficiency when searching the web.
• User-friendliness and intuitiveness: Both DuckDuckGo and Instant Answers were designed to be as user-friendly an intuitive as possible. Instant Answers typically provides its information through snippets or graphical cards, which makes them instantly recognizable amongst the other search results.

Between the privacy-centric features of DuckDuckGo and its additional functionality, like Instant Answers and DuckAssist, the company is poised to become a major player in the future of online search engines. Be on the lookout for further upgrades, enhancements, and new innovations coming from DuckDuckGo in the future – it will be interesting to see how the evolve over the coming years.


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