DuckDuckGo’s private AI chats don’t train on your data by default

June 6, 2024
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DuckDuckGo has launched private AI chats, allowing you to anonymously access AI models like GPT-3.5 Turbo and Claude 3 Haiku. It won’t store your chats, nor can the companies behind each AI model use them for training — saving you from jumping through a settings menu just to opt out.

To keep your chats anonymous, DuckDuckGo calls the chat models on your behalf, replacing your IP address with its own. “This way it looks like the requests are coming from us and not you,” DuckDuckGo says. However, DuckDuckGo notes that the AI providers “may store chats temporarily,” but they can’t trace them back to you.

As noted in DuckDuckGo’s privacy policy page, it removes all metadata containing your personal information, including your IP address, before sending your query. The company also has agreements with the AI providers to delete saved chats within 30 days and to prevent them from being used to train their models. Similar to DuckDuckGo’s browser, you can use the fire button to clear your chat.

In addition to GPT-3.5 and Claude, DuckDuckGo’s AI chat also offers access to Meta’s Llama 3 70B model and Mixtral 8x7B. You can access DuckDuckGo’s AI chats by heading to duck.ai or by using the “!ai” or “!chat bang” shortcuts. It’s also on the right side of the DuckDuckGo search engine’s top menu bar (but you can disable this from your settings menu).

The feature is free to use “within a daily limit,” but DuckDuckGo says it may eventually launch a paid plan with higher limits and access to more advanced models. The company also plans on adding more chat models, including ones hosted by DuckDuckGo or users. Last year, DuckDuckGo launched DuckAssist inside its search engine, a feature that automatically surfaces AI-generated answers — similar to Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini.

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