DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, has announced the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into its platform. The company has launched a beta version of DuckAssist, a new tool that pulls and summarizes information from Wikipedia in response to certain questions. The tool is currently only available through DuckDuckGo’s mobile apps and browser extensions.
DuckAssist uses language models from OpenAI and Anthropic, both of which are backed by Google, to generate answers to questions. However, the company says it will maintain its focus on privacy and will not share any personally identifiable information with these companies. DuckDuckGo also states that it will not use users’ anonymous questions to train its models.
When a user enters a question that DuckAssist can help with, a box appears at the top of the search results, asking if the user would like to see if Wikipedia has relevant information. If the user hits the “Ask” button, DuckAssist will generate an AI-generated answer using summarized information from Wikipedia. If DuckAssist has already answered a question before, the response will automatically appear.
The company notes that DuckAssist will not have an answer for every question and is more likely to appear with queries that have straightforward answers on Wikipedia. The feature is also more likely to appear if the user appends “wiki” to their question. Additionally, DuckAssist uses the most recent full Wikipedia download available, which may be a few weeks old.
Gabriel Weinberg, the founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, has stated that the company will add DuckAssist to the web-based search engine if the beta trial goes well. The company also plans to update the sources for DuckAssist to draw from in the future.