DuckDuckGo launches DuckAssist

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo announces its first foray into AI with the launch of DuckAssist. This new feature, powered by ChatGPT, provides an instant response in search results.

DuckAssist: Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica as sources

DuckDuckGo announces a new update for the search engine. This is the first in a long series of AI-assisted functionalities which, according to the team, will optimize the user experience. Called DuckAssistthis new feature has been designed to provide instant, brief and precise responses to queries user queries.

To enrich search results, DuckAssist uses Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica. This limited number of sources is a conscious decision by DuckDuckGo to avoid deviations, as was the case with the AI implemented on Microsoft Bing (the feature was quickly removed).

The additional information provided by AI is displayed directly above the search results.. So far, the feature only provides answers to simple questions. Nevertheless, the data is regularly updated to provide the most relevant answers possible.

Functionality available in beta version

DuckAssist already available in beta version and free of charge on DuckDuckGo’s Web and mobile applications. The feature is also available in a browser plug-in. When an AI-generated response is available for a query, a message “Ask me” appears in search results.

Since DuckAssist is still in its trial version, it may be that instant answers may not yet appear systematically. “For this initial test, DuckAssist is most likely to appear in our search results when users search for questions that have simple answers in Wikipedia,” explains Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo.

To discover the feature, he advises users to submit simple “what is” queries. DuckAssist won’t generate accurate answers all the time, the developers warn. There is a risk of errors in the answers due to the limited amount of information the feature can summarize, they say. But the feature is bound to evolve.