The feature, which is currently in beta, uses natural language technology from ChatGPT creator OpenAI and Anthropic, an AI startup founded by ex-OpenAI employees, to directly answer users’ simple search queries. DuckAssist sources answers by combining natural language summarization with active indexing of Wikipedia and other reference sites.
DuckAssist’s sources are currently “99%+ Wikipedia,” but the company is experimenting with other sources and adapting sourcing to the context of the query. DuckDuckGo is using the OpenAI Davinci model and the Anthropic Claude model for natural language summarization, with the company also experimenting with the newly announced OpenAI Turbo model.
How Does DuckAssist Work?
DuckAssist generates new natural language responses “based on specific/relevant sections of Wikipedia articles” provided by DuckDuckGo through its own source scanning. DuckAssist’s AI then formats responses so that they are directly responsive to the query. The generative AI in DuckAssist can quickly surface information buried in articles and synthesize information from multiple Wikipedia snippets.
Privacy and precision
DuckDuckGo guarantees that the DuckAssist search with AI feature is anonymous, and that no data is shared with any of the third parties with whom it is collaborating to integrate generative AI into its search engine. DuckAssist has been designed to increase the likelihood that it will provide a correct answer while also informing users that the answer is automated. Users are directed to the most relevant Wikipedia article for more information after DuckAssist answers are labeled as not independently verified for accuracy.
Future Plans and Feedback
DuckDuckGo is asking users to provide anonymous feedback on the quality of the DuckAssist summaries. While DuckAssist will only be available for a subset of searches, DuckDuckGo says it is the first in a series of generative AI-assisted features that the company plans to launch in the coming months.