• Wikipedia was chosen as the primary data source for DuckAssist, according to DuckDuckGo, because it is generally trustworthy across a wide range of topics, it is a transparent organization, and its sources can be easily tracked down through the listed citations.
  • According to DuckDuckGo, during the initial trial period, DuckAssist will only be activated in response to user inquiries for which its constrained (at the moment) resources can offer simple solutions.

DuckAssist, a new feature in DuckDuckGo Inc.’s search engine that produces natural language answers to user queries, was launched recently.

Generative artificial intelligence models from OpenAI LLC and Anthropic, a machine learning startup in San Francisco, power DuckAssist. The function has recently been added to the growing list of generative AI tools made available by search engine providers.

Pennsylvania-based DuckDuckGo runs a well-known privacy-focused search engine by the same name. Internal projections for the startup state that as of November 2020, there were 80 million users. The following June, DuckDuckGo announced a 55% increase in its monthly search traffic over the previous 12 months.

The company’s brand-new DuckAssist feature generates concise responses to user inquiries using data from Wikipedia articles. The feature occasionally also makes use of outside resources, like Encyclopedia Britannica. Answers from DuckAssist are displayed in a panel above regular DuckDuckGo search results, along with a link to the source of information.

The company uses DuckAssist as a component of its current Instant Answers tool. Users no longer need to click through search results to access maps, weather forecasts, and other information because of the tool. Compared to current Instant Answers responses, it is meant to give users more relevant and essential answers to their questions.

Gabriel Weinberg, Chief Executive Officer and founder of DuckDuckGo, wrote in a blog post, “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?’. We are using the most recent full Wikipedia download available, which is at most a few weeks old.”

The search engine by DuckDuckGo comes in a variety of editions. A web-based, mobile, and browser add-ons make DuckDuckGo the user’s default search engine. When it first launches, the new DuckAssist feature will be available through the company’s browser extensions and mobile apps.

According to Weinberg, if the initial trial is successful, the company will “soon” make DuckAssist available to all users. In the long run, the business intends to roll out several additional generative AI features for its search engine. It anticipates releasing the features in the upcoming months.

Following the introduction of AI-powered chatbots for their respective search engines by Google LLC and Microsoft Corp., DuckAssist was released a few weeks later. Venture-backed search startup You.com Inc. has also launched a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence to aid users in finding information more quickly.

The two startups that DuckDuckGo collaborated with to create its DuckAssistant feature, OpenAI, and Anthropic, have both recently closed sizable funding rounds. In January of this year, Microsoft reportedly invested USD 10 billion in OpenAI. Last year, Anthropic reportedly raised about USD 300 million from Google LLC.