DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, has unveiled DuckAssist, a new feature that generates natural-language answers to search queries using Wikipedia.
This is the first in a series of plans by DuckDuckGo for AI-assisted private search and browser that will be rolled out in the coming months.
What is DuckAssist and how does it work?
DuckAssist is a new type of instant search engine response designed to mirror the look and feel of traditional SERPs.
It scans a select set of sources, primarily Wikipedia and occasionally related sites such as Britannica, using DuckDuckGo’s active indexing.
DuckAssist then generates a short summary and sources of what it finds on Wikipedia on top of the normal private search results.
How is DuckAssist different from other AI research tools?
DuckAssist uses natural language technology from OpenAI and Anthropic to summarize information and provide more direct answers to users’ questions than traditional search results.
While its generative AI technology is designed to generate text in response to any prompt, regardless of whether it “knows” the answer, DuckAssist only aims to summarize information from trusted sources such as Wikipedia to reduce inaccuracies.
Currently, you are more likely to see DuckAssist in search results when asking direct questions with obvious answers on Wikipedia.
However, DuckAssist will not produce accurate answers all the time, and users are encouraged to share feedback during the trial period.
Phrasing your search queries as questions or including the word “wiki” in your search query can increase the likelihood that DuckAssist will appear in your search results.
DuckDuckGo hopes to dramatically increase the number of instant answers it provides through a combination of generative AI and Wikipedia.
DuckDuckGo has been using Wikipedia as a primary source for instant answers for many years.
Although it is not complete, DuckDuckGo is considered a relatively authoritative Wikipedia on various topics.
Gabriel Weinberg, CEO and Founder of DuckDuckGo, stated in an announcement:
Because it is a public resource with a transparent editing process that cites all sources used in an article, you can easily track where exactly its information came from. Finally, because Wikipedia is always updated, DuckAssist answers can reflect modern understanding of a given topic: Currently, DuckAssist Wikipedia is indexed Ours is at most a few weeks ago, and we have plans to make it more recent. We also have plans to add more sources soon; you might already see some signs of that in your results!”
DuckAssist by DuckDuckGo is an innovative new feature that produces natural language answers to search queries.
Its use of generative AI and Wikipedia has the potential to greatly increase the number of instant answers it provides, making it easier for people to find the information they need.
While DuckAssist is currently in beta and only available in English, it might roll out to everyone soon if the trial goes well.
Featured image: Screenshot from spreadprivacy.com/duckassist-launch/, March 2023.