DuckDuckGo, the privacy-based search engine is joining Bing and Google, by introducing DuckAssist to answer user queries more directly and using natural language.
DuckDuckGo Go AI
First up, if you’re thinking DuckDuckWho? I’ll forgive you – despite being launched in 2008, the search engine isn’t the number one choice for most internet users. However, if you take a look at this post written by Adam Connell on startupbonsai, you may be surprised to learn that DuckDuckGo actually has a pretty healthy amount of people using it! Although figures can’t be too exact as the search engine doesn’t track its users. That’s part of the attraction to DuckDuckGo for many users – unlike internet overlords Google, the prior has always been very focussed on privacy.
Anyway, just this week, DuckDuckGo has bounced back into many people’s consciousness because they have also decided to join Bing and Google by launching their own AI-assisted tool, DuckAssist, which as of now, is still in beta. The company plan to roll the tool out to all users eventually and have a range of other AI developments in store, apparently!
So is DuckAssist any different to what Bing and Google are doing? Whilst DuckAssist uses the same OpenAI technology as Bing and Google, it will only provide answers from existing content. So far, it looks as though this is primarily Wikipedia. This is different to other technologies as an answer will only be generated using what are considered trustworthy sources.
In a nutshell, the tool will summarise topics using already available information, in a simplified, natural way. So quite helpful really, and avoids any issues with AI providing what it ‘thinks’ is the correct answer. This is why users will only see DuckAssist for some searches – presumably, an answer won’t appear if it can’t find a relevant answer from a source considered credible.
In the announcement blog written by Gabriel Weinberg, Founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, he emphasised that the new tool would in no way interfere with the platform’s core values of privacy. You can read the full announcement here.