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DuckDuckGo offers “anonymous” access to AI chatbots through new service

DuckDuckGo's AI Chat promotional image.

Enlarge (credit: DuckDuckGo)

On Thursday, DuckDuckGo unveiled a new “AI Chat” service that allows users to converse with four mid-range large language models (LLMs) from OpenAI, Anthropic, Meta, and Mistral in an interface similar to ChatGPT while attempting to preserve privacy and anonymity. While the AI models involved can output inaccurate information readily, the site allows users to test different mid-range LLMs without having to install anything or sign up for an account.

DuckDuckGo’s AI Chat currently features access to OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 Turbo, Anthropic’s Claude 3 Haiku, and two open source models, Meta’s Llama 3 and Mistral’s Mixtral 8x7B. The service is currently free to use within daily limits. Users can access AI Chat through the DuckDuckGo search engine, direct links to the site, or by using “!ai” or “!chat” shortcuts in the search field. AI Chat can also be disabled in the site’s settings for users with accounts.

According to DuckDuckGo, chats on the service are anonymized, with metadata and IP address removed to prevent tracing back to individuals. The company states that chats are not used for AI model training, citing its privacy policy and terms of use.

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