The DuckDuckGo AI team just released the beta version of their new summary tool, DuckAssist, an AI-powered Wikipedia in your search bar. The “natural language technology” used by DuckAssist comes from both OpenAI and Anthropic.
In many ways, DuckAssist is like the new Bing, but it has certain key differences that set it apart from ChatGPT. The summaries are generated by the DuckDuckGo AI using information from a single source, Wikipedia, rather than a variety of other sources.
“Because it is a public resource with a transparent editorial process that cites all the sources used in an article.”
-DuckDuckGo AI team
DuckDuckGo AI has boundaries: How DuckAssist can “really” assist
The latest AI-powered search engine also emphasizes that because the platform is constantly updated, information delivered by DuckAssist will always be current, or at worst, a few weeks out of date. When necessary, DuckAssist will look up information from external sources like the Encyclopedia Britannica. But you will see Wikipedia most of the time, like a traditional search engine.
According to DuckDuckGo, there are many advantages to relying on a single information hub, including the speed with which a large number of questions can be answered. Also, by restricting its data sources to simply Wikipedia, hallucinations, a common issue with generative AIs in which the software creates results that have nothing to do with the user’s search, are much reduced. Let’s see it in action.
If you ask DuckAssist how ducks fly together, it works; but if you ask it what AI is…
Although, if we take into account that DuckAssist only gave answers from Wikipedia, can we still say that it worked? It’s worth noting that this is just the beginning of a suite of AI-assisted capabilities that DuckDuckGo plans to release.
The beta status of the DuckAssit means that it has certain flaws. There will be times when DuckAssist is incorrect, and DuckDuckGo recognizes this. Especially if it’s a complicated question, it might not answer all of the questions, give wrong answers, or reference the wrong sources. As an added note, not all questions, including those about current events across the world, will be answered. Before further confusion, let’s take a closer look at what DuckAssist is.
What is DuckAssist? DuckDuckGo AI explained
The firm promotes DuckAssist as an innovative “Instant Answer” that eliminates the need for people to sift through lengthy web search results for answers to common questions about things like the news, maps, and weather. Instead of just returning a list of websites, Quick Answers are displayed at the top of the search results.
The procedure is as follows: Whenever a user enters a question into DuckDuckGo that Wikipedia can answer, DuckAssist may emerge and use artificial intelligence (AI) natural language technology to summarize what it finds, with links to the original sources indicated below. The summary displays in a box at the top of the main search results page on DuckDuckGo.
Although the feature is now accessible through DuckDuckGo’s mobile apps and browser extensions, not everyone will have access to it. Those that are able to take use of it do so anonymously and without cost. Neither OpenAI nor Anthropic nor any other entity will have access to the query data, and the data will not be utilized to train any artificial intelligence models. If the beta version of DuckAssist goes smoothly, it will be made available to the general public over the next few weeks.
How to use DuckAssist?
The process of using DuckAssist is uncomplicated. Follow these steps:
- Download DuckDuckGo mobile apps or browser extensions. For now, it is only working on those.DuckDuckGo said that it will release an update soon, and this feature will come to all platforms.
- Search a query.
Yes, that’s it. DuckDuckGo automatically summarizes your query and links back to the relevant Wikipedia article with only a single query. The citation will also include a link to the precise passage in the referenced publication where the information first appears.
DuckAssist not working: Reasons & fixes
If DuckAssist is not working, there could be several reasons, such as:
- The tool is only available via DDG’s apps and browser extensions. Download it if you haven’t already.
- DuckAssist only works if it can get answers from Wikipedia. If it can’t find the answer on Wikipedia, it probably won’t work. Try Wikipedia’able queries in order to use it.