DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine and browser developer, has announced the launch of a new AI feature called DuckAssist. With this new addition, DuckDuckGo has taken a unique approach to integrated AI that focuses on providing clear value to the private search and browsing experience of its users. This article will explore the features and potential of DuckAssist and how it sets itself apart from its competitors.
A Different Approach to AI
Unlike its biggest competitors, Google and Microsoft, who have recently revealed Google Bard and an AI-augmented Bing search, DuckDuckGo has approached the use of integrated AI differently. At DuckDuckGo, the team has been working hard to understand the difference between what AI could do well in the future and what it can do well right now. The focus is on creating an AI that adds clear value to the private search and browsing experience of its users.
The Power of DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo has become a significant player in the digital lives of millions of people worldwide since it launched in 2008. The platform’s products focus on user privacy and are built to protect users from tracking software that would otherwise record their internet usage. According to YouGov, as of April 2021, DuckDuckGo users globally initiate 98.79 million search queries daily, and the service commands 2.45% of all U.S. searches.
DuckAssist: The First in a Series of AI-Assisted Private Search and Browser Updates
DuckDuckGo’s announcement of DuckAssist comes with a prediction for the future. The company says, “DuckAssist is the first in a series of AI-assisted private search and browser updates,” and it’s free and available to try today. DuckAssist sets itself apart from other generative AI resources. Instead of asking the AI to produce a response to a question, DuckAssist will summarize information and provide a synopsis of the data. The source material for the tool will primarily come from Wikipedia and Britannica.
Accuracy and Functionality of DuckAssist
While DuckAssist won’t be free from error, I expect the AI to “hallucinate” far less often than other systems, according to DuckDuckGo. This means you can assume the answer is probably correct, provided the source material is factual, and the question isn’t too convoluted. DuckAssist won’t simply make up responses, making it more reliable than some other AI systems.
To improve the accuracy of resulting DuckAssist answers, DuckDuckGo’s beta phase of the tool’s rollout will include an anonymous feedback feature. The company also notes that it won’t share personal data with its “search content partners,” OpenAI and Anthropic, so this new integration will not affect user anonymity. Not all search queries will return a DuckAssist response. Questions with subjective language (i.e., ‘what’s the best muscle car?’) aren’t well-suited to the AI’s mission. Simple queries like ‘what is a muscle car?’ will likely return contextualizing content to help streamline users’ search experiences.
The Future of DuckDuckGo and AI
With DuckAssist, DuckDuckGo is laying the foundation for future AI developments in private search and browsing. While it may not be the most powerful AI system, it’s a step in the right direction for creating value and reliability for its users. DuckDuckGo’s commitment to user privacy and data protection remains at the forefront of all its products.
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In conclusion, DuckDuckGo’s launch of DuckAssist is a welcome addition to the private search and browsing experience for users