Following the lead of Microsoft and Google, DuckDuckGo is about to dip its toes in generative AI. But the company isn’t starting with a chatbot. Instead, DuckDuckGo is partnering with OpenAI and Anthropic to enhance its existing Instant Answer feature. You won’t see “DuckAssist” with each and every search you conduct, but when it does appear, the tool will pull from Wikipedia (as well as Encyclopedia Britannica in some instances) to provide a natural language response to your questions.
DuckDuckGo is limiting DuckAssist’s sourcing to reduce the likelihood of the feature’s machine-learning model “hallucinating” or, in other words, providing you with the wrong information. If you see a magic wand icon, it means Duck Assist can summarize information for you.
Additionally, the feature won’t be part of the entire DuckDuckGo experience right away. With today’s announcement, you will only see DuckAssist answers appear when using the DuckDuckGo app or browser extension. The company says it wants to collect feedback before expanding availability in the coming weeks and allowing DuckAssist's model to pull on additional sources. For those concerned about privacy, DuckDuckGo notes no login is necessary to use DuckAssist and the company won’t share any of your personal information with OpenAI and Anthropic. DuckAssist searches also won’t be used to train their models.
DuckDuckGo users can expect more AI-enhanced features to arrive in the future. “This is the first in a series of generative AI-assisted features we hope to roll out in the coming months,” DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg said. “We wanted DuckAssist to be the first because we think it can immediately help users find answers to what they are looking for faster.”