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Last Updated: May 20, 2023

Agents in Artificial Intelligence

Author Geetika Dua


Artificial Intelligence system is often defined because of the study of the rational agent and its environment. The agents sense the environment through sensors and act on their environment through actuators.

Types of agents in Artificial Intelligence

An AI agent can have mental properties like knowledge, belief, intention, etc. A rational agent might be anything which makes decisions, as an individual, firm, machine, or software.

It acts with the simplest outcome after considering past and current percepts(agent’s perceptual inputs at a given instance). Intelligent agents are often described schematically as an abstract functional system almost like a computer virus. Researchers like Russell & Norvig (2003) consider goal-directed behaviour to be the essence of intelligence; a normative agent is often labelled with a term borrowed from economics, “rational agent”. during this rational-action paradigm, an AI possesses an indoor “model” of its environment. This model encapsulates all the agent’s beliefs about the planet. In this agent has some “objective function” that encapsulates all the AI’s goals that are required. Such an agent is meant to make and execute whatever plan will, upon completion, maximise the arithmetic mean of the target function.

A reinforcement learning agent can have a “reward function” that permits the programmers to shape the AI’s desired behaviour, and an evolutionary algorithm’s behaviour is formed by a “fitness function of AI”.An abstract is the descriptions of intelligent agents that are sometimes called abstract intelligent agents (AIA) because it is difficult to differentiate them from their real-world implementations as computer systems, biological systems, or organisations. Some autonomous intelligent agents are designed to function within the absence of human intervention.

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What is an Agent in AI?

An agent in artificial intelligence is a system that performs the following operations:

  • To perceive its environment.
  • To make decisions.
  • To perform actions in order to achieve a predefined goal.

The agent runs on its own, which means that a human operator does not directly manage it. An intelligent agent is an autonomous entity that uses sensors and actuators to act on the environment in order to accomplish objectives.

The Functions of an Artificial Intelligence Agent

The functions of an agent in artificial intelligence are as follows:

  • To resolve complex issues using intelligent machines.
  • To decide what to do in a specific situation.
  • To make conclusions and take decisions.
  • The perception of dynamic environmental circumstances.
  • Using logic to interpret perceptions.
  • To make an effort to change environmental conditions.

Types of Artificial Intelligence Agents

Agents are often grouped into five classes supported their degree of perceived intelligence and capability. of these agents can improve their performance and generate better action over time. These are given below:

  • Simple Reflex Agent
  • Model-Based Reflex Agent
  • Goal-Based Agents
  • Utility-Based Agent
  • Learning Agent

Simple Reflex Agent

These agents take decisions supported the present percepts and ignore the remainder of the percept history. These agents only achieve a fully observable environment. The Simple reflex agent doesn’t consider any a part of percepts history during their decision and action process. This agent works on Condition-action rule, which suggests it maps the present state to action. like an area Cleaner agent, it works as long as there’s dirt within the room.

Problems for the straightforward reflex agent design approach:

  • They have very limited intelligence
  • They do not know non-perceptual parts of the present state
  • Mostly too big to get and to store
  • Not adaptive to changes within the environment
simple reflex agent

Model-Based Reflex Agent

This agent can add a partially observable environment, and track things. A model-based agent has two important factors:


It’s knowledge about “how things happen within the world,” so it’s called a Model-based agent.

Internal State

It’s a representation of the present state-based on percept history.

These agents have the model, “which is knowledge of the world” and supported the model they perform actions. Updating the agent state requires information about how the planet evolves and how the agent’s action affects the planet.

model based reflex agent

Goal-Based Agent

The knowledge of the present state environment isn’t always sufficient to make a decision for an agent to what to try. The agent must know its goal which describes desirable situations. Goal-based agents are very important as they are used to expand the capabilities of the model-based agent by having the “goal” information.

They choose an action, in order that they will achieve the goal. These agents may need to consider an extended sequence of possible actions before deciding whether the goal is achieved or not. Such considerations of various scenario are called searching and planning, which makes an agent proactive.

goal based agent

Utility-Based Agents

These agents are almost like the goal-based agent but provide an additional component of utility measurement which makes them different by providing a measure of success at a given state. Utility-based agent act based not only goals but also the simplest thanks to achieving the goal. The Utility-based agent is beneficial when there are multiple possible alternatives, and an agent has got to prefer to perform the simplest action. The utility function maps each state to a true number to see how efficiently each action achieves the goals.

utility based agents

Learning Agents

A learning agent in AI is that the sort of agent which may learn from its past experiences, or it’s learning capabilities. It starts to act with basic knowledge then ready to act and adapt automatically through learning. A learning agent has the main four conceptual components that are: Learning element: it’s liable for making improvements by learning from the environment


Learning element takes feedback from critic which describes how well the agent is doing for a hard and fast performance standard.

Performance Element

It’s liable for selecting external action

Problem Generator

This component is liable for suggesting actions which will cause new and informative experiences.

Hence, learning agents can learn, analyse performance, and appearance for brand spanking new ways to enhance the performance.

learning agents

Uses of Agents

Artificial Intelligence agents are used in various real-life applications.

Medical Evaluation

  • The surroundings are regarded as the patient. 
  • The sensor that collects information on the patient's complaints is a computer keyboard. 
  • The intelligent agent uses this data to determine the best plan of action. 
  • Actuators used in healthcare include tests and therapies.

Automatic Vehicles

  • Various sensors are used in automatic vehicles to gather data from the surroundings. 
  • These consist of radar, GPS, and cameras. 
  • The environment in these agents could consist of people, other cars, roads, or road signs. Actions are started using a variety of devices. For instance, the car's brakes are used to stop it. Self-driving vehicles operate better with the assistance of intelligent agents.

Office Works Automation

  • The monotonous workplace tasks can be resolved using AI agents.
  • Customer service and sales are two functional areas that have been automated. 
  • To cut operating expenses, some businesses have automated a few administrative processes. 
  • Office efficiency has also been increased using intelligent agents.

Structure of Artificial Intelligence Agent

 The task of AI is to style an agent program which implements the agent function. The structure of an intelligent agent may be a combination of architecture and agent program. It is often viewed as Agent = Architecture + Agent programme

Following are the most three terms involved within the structure of an AI agent:

  • Architecture: It is a  machinery that an AI agent executes on and is very useful.
  • Agent Function: Agent function is employed to map a percept to an action.
  • f:P* → A
  • Agent Programme: It is an implementation of agent function in which agent function plays a vital role. An agent program executes on the physical architecture to supply function f.

PEAS Representation

 It may be a sort of model on which an AI agent works upon. once we define an AI agent or rational agent, then we will group its properties under PEAS representation model. It’s made from four words:

  • P: Performance measure
  • E: Environment
  • A: Actuators
  • S: Sensors

Here performance measure is that the objective for the success of an agent’s behaviour.

Taxonomy of Agents

There is no consensus on the way to classify agents. this is often because there’s no agreed-upon taxonomy of agents. With this in mind, allow us to begin to classify the various sorts of agents, using some suggestions from the sector of agent theory. Charles Petrie, Stan Franklin, Art Glaesser and other agent theorists suggest that we offer an operational definition. So we’ll attempt to describe the agent’s essential components and specify what the agent seeks to accomplish.

By using the definition which we discussed above as a guide, we specify an autonomous agent by describing its:

Environment (this must be a dynamic description, that is, an outline of a state of affairs that changes over time as real-life situations do). Sensing capabilities (this depends on the sensor equipment; it determines the type of knowledge the agent is capable of receiving as input). Actions (this would be a change within the environment caused by the agent, requiring the agent to update its model of the planet, which successively may cause the agent to vary its immediate intention). Desires (these are the general policies or goals of the agent). Action Selection Architecture (the agent decides what to due next by consulting both its internal state, the state of the planet, and its current goal; then it uses decision-making procedures to pick an action).

Intelligent agents are applied as automated online assistants, where they function to perceive the requirements of consumers to perform individualised customer service. Such an agent may contain a dialogue system, an avatar, also an expert system to supply specific expertise to the user.] they will even be wont to optimise the coordination of human groups online.

  • To acquaint the peruser with the thought of an operator and specialist based frameworks.
  • To help the peruser with perceiving the space qualities that show the fittingness of an operator based arrangement.
  • To present the elemental application regions wherein operator innovation has been effectively sent so far.
  • To acknowledge the principle obstructions that dwell the tactic of the operator framework designer, lastly.
  • To offer a manual for the remainder of this book.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 4 agents in AI?

The main four agents in AI are simple reflex agents, goal-based agents, utility-based agents, and model-based agents. In many places, you will find a fifth agent that is known as the Learning agent in AI.

What is an Intelligent agent and its types?

In AI, the intelligent agent is a computer system that perceives its environment to make decisions and perform actions in order to achieve a predefined goal. The types of intelligent agents are simple reflex agents, goal-based agents, utility-based agents, model-based agents, and learning agents.

What is agent vs rational agents in AI?

An agent is a system that perceives its environment to make decisions and perform actions in order to achieve a predefined goal. A rational agent is hypothetical that takes into account realistic representations of human thinking, with preferences for favourable results and the capacity to learn.

What is a goal-based agent example?

Self-driving cars are examples of goal-based agents. They are created with a desired result in mind. The vehicle will think and make the appropriate choices to take the passenger to their destination.


We have discussed the agents in artificial intelligence. These can have mental properties like knowledge, belief, intention, etc. A rational agent might be anything which makes decisions, as an individual, firm, machine, or software.

We hope this blog has helped you. We recommend you visit our articles on different topics of Artificial Intelligence, such as

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