DuckDuckGo creates DuckAssist, a response mechanism using artificial intelligence

ChatGPT has made artificial intelligence more mainstream than ever, so much so that the very use of artificial intelligence could extend to the most unexpected corners. Faced with large corporations that sometimes monopolize too much prominence, it does not hurt to echo the plans of DuckDuckGo to implement responses generated by artificial intelligence in your search engine.

DuckDuckGo needs no introduction at this point, as it is the most popular alternative search engine out there. Since its inception and in response to Google, privacy has been one of its main values, however, in recent times it has made various movements that have cost it criticism both from its users and from the most staunch defenders of privacy. privacy.

Going deeper into the implementation of AI-generated responses, the feature will be introduced via a new tool called DuckAssistwhich will be dedicated to automatically extract and summarize an answer extracted from Wikipedia articles. DuckAssist is currently only available in the beta branch of the browser and through the mobile apps. Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, has explained that the tool will be introduced in the web version if the tests on the current environment go well.

When the user enters a query through DuckAssist, the tool will warn that it can check if Wikipedia has relevant information about it. After clicking on the “Ask” button, the user will get an answer generated by artificial intelligence that may not be exact or not correspond, since, as Weinberg has recognized, the tool has a limit to the amount of information it can already summarize. Sometimes it is Wikipedia itself that does not contain correct information. Of course, the current approach of DuckAssist reduces the chances that it will fabricate answers based on data that is not present in Wikipedia.

However, the use of artificial intelligence is not only a technological advance, but also an issue that raises ethical questions that include aspects such as privacy and even legal issues. DuckAssist is based on language models from OpenAI, the company behind the popular ChatGPT, and from Anthropic, which is backed by Google. Here Gabriel Weinberg has come out to say that DuckAssist will not share data with OpenAI or Anthropic and that neither company will use the anonymous questions to train their models.

DuckDuckGo using the Microsoft ad network.

At this point, it’s worth remembering that DuckDuckGo relies on the Microsoft ad network and few if any have criticized it for this, as the search engine merely uses the Redmond giant’s ad network as a response mechanism. to the search terms entered by users without tracking or profiling, for which it is not necessary to be registered on the website.

For now DuckAssist is not aiming to do anything complex and would limit itself, if it can, to offering rather simple answers to user questions. It is also more likely to trigger if the user adds the word ‘wiki’ to the question and will automatically respond if the same question has been entered before.

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