DuckDuckGo’s DuckAssist Pioneers AI-Powered Browsing

DuckDuckGo's DuckAssist Pioneers AI-Powered Browsing

DuckDuckGo, a private search engine that offers a privacy-oriented web browsing experience, has joined the frenzy of the AI-powered chatbot era by launching its own DuckAssist.

With the new DuckAssist tool, users can get quick and conversational responses to some questions, as the tool sources answers from Wikipedia.

DuckDuckGo is available for iOS and Android, and the addition is free and available on all types of operating systems with a browser extension.

“DuckAssist is a new type of Instant Answer in our search results, just like News, Maps, Weather, and many others we already have,” said Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, in a blog post.

Many popular browsers and search engines have now incorporated AI-powered chatbots, with Microsoft’s Bing being the one that started the trend. While Microsoft backed OpenAI’s brainchild ChatGPT, Alphabet’s Google is working on its own similar project called “Bard.”

“We designed DuckAssist to be fully integrated into DuckDuckGo Private Search, mirroring the look and feel of our traditional search results, so while the AI-generated content is new, we hope using DuckAssist feels second nature,” said Weinberg.

DuckAssist differs from Microsoft’s AI projects with Bing, which have encountered issues in the past (such as the ill-fated Sydney experiment). Rather than being a chatbot, DuckAssist provides automatic answers when it recognizes a relevant search term.

The feature is optional and not forced upon users. When an AI-powered response is available, a magic wand icon with an “ask me” button will appear in the search results. According to the company, DuckAssist is currently in beta, so it may not appear frequently yet.

“For this initial trial, DuckAssist is most likely to appear in our search results when users search for questions that have straightforward answers in Wikipedia. Think questions like ‘what is a search engine index?’ rather than more subjective questions like ‘what is the best search engine?’” Weinberg said.

Also Read: Brave Embraces AI Era With Summarization Feature in Search

Restricting the data source to Wikipedia will prevent some of the unusual and unexpected behaviour that users have experienced with other AI tools, according to DuckDuckGo.

AI-powered browsing

When OpenAI launched ChatGPT, it pulled the trigger by hitting one million users in just five days after its November launch. Since then, the era has become AI-centric especially in the field of internet browsing.

Most popular browsers have integrated AI into their search engines. Popular Web3 browser Brave has recently launched an AI-powered “Summariser” feature for search. Additionally, as reported by MetaNews, multi-platform web browser Opera is planning to incorporate the AI chatbot ChatGPT into its products.

In addition, Alibaba and Baidu are working on their own versions of ChatGPT, while Salesforce, has joined the ranks of tech giants incorporating generative AI into their products.

The company has announced a collaboration with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into Slack and other initiatives to merge generative AI with large amounts of data.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.