All Those AIs - Part 2

Browser-based AIs

First off, I have to address something that I see many people do that makes it easier for them to be hacked - filling out those questionnaires on social media. That information can be used to hack into your accounts! How? Many sites will present you with questions if you’ve forgotten your userid or password. “Where did your mother and father meet?” “What was your first car?” “Who was your third grade teacher?” Yup - the same questions you find in those “fun” questionnaires. Don’t do it! If someone hacks into a friends account and sees your answers they can, for instance, go to your bank’s website and go through the forgotten userid process. OK? I know it’s fun and all but it’s not worth the risk.

Last time we discussed AIs that are available pretty much anywhere - in any browser or via the AI’s dedicated app. This time we discuss AIs that are browser-specific. Yes, some browsers have their own AI. We might discuss some browsers that are unfamiliar to you. I won’t go into the things that make these browsers special so, if one or more is new to you, I encourage you to look into it (or them). They have been made to address some of what, in the browser creator’s view, are shortcomings in the current crop of browsers. Often those shortcomings are security or privacy related.

In no particular order, our first browser-specific AI is Leo in the Brave browser ( Leo is a chatbot accessed through Brave’s sidebar - a set of icons lining the right side of the browser window. Currently you can choose between 3 Large Language Models (LLMs) to act as your AI. I won’t go into the choices because we haven’t discussed those particular LLMs but you can see them and research them on your own if you’re interested. The default AI (the one used to answer your question) will be the “best” overall in the determination of the browser’s creators while the others offer better answers in specific cases. Leo can access the web and is focused on privacy and security, meaning that it will anonymously browse the web when servicing your requests and discard those results after it processes them. In its basic form, it requires no login and doesn’t save your chats. There is a premium version which, for $15/month, gives you access to more AIs, better performance when the AI is under load and so on. As of this writing, Leo is not available in the Brave mobile browser but the company says it’s coming.

Arc is a relatively new browser from The Browser Company at It is available on Mac and Windows with some reduced capabilities on iOS. Max is their AI. They haven’t been very forthcoming with what LLMs Max uses. Even so, Max has some useful features: you can ask questions about the current page and you can preview links that are offered in a search. You can read more about Max at

Opera. Remember that browser? Well, they’re still around and they haven’t been sitting on their hands. Aria is their browser’s AI. Like Arc, Opera isn’t specific on which LLMs they use for Aria although they do mention using OpenAI’s GPT enhanced with the ability to pull data from the web. You can read more about Aria in Opera’s blog at and the Aria help page at is a bit different from all the others. There is no desktop app. No, the website offers a window on different AIs tailored for different functions, all of which can be accessed from that main page. On desktop if you go to you’ll get their basic AI where you can ask questions without creating an account or signing in and those questions will be answered using GPT-3 from OpenAI. If you create an account and sign in you can select from several “modes” like Genius, GPT-4, Research, and Create mode. But their site is not just a front-end to AI engines. You can access so-called “Youapps” like YouSearch which is an AI-augmented search function. bills itself as a personalized AI assistant, not as a browser or a search engine. They have a mobile app which presents more of a traditional browser interface but with easy access to the AI features.

For completeness, the Bing AI, as separate from the Bing search engine, used to be only available in the Edge browser but Microsoft broke it out on its own, eventually renaming it to Copilot

There are other browser-only AIs out there but these are, in my opinion, the most common. Feel free to look for some others if you’re interested in such things.

That's all for this week's column. With this column and the previous, I’ve tried to show you some of the different ways you can access various different AIs. Don't hesitate to write to me if you have questions!

As always, my intent is to help you understand the basics and equip you to search for more detailed information.

Please feel free to email me with questions, comments, suggestions, requests for future columns, to sign up for my newsletter, or whatever at [email protected] or just drop me a quick note and say HI!

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