Definition of Agent

In technology, an agent refers to a software program or tool that acts on behalf of a user or system, performing tasks autonomously or semi-autonomously. Agents often function as a bridge between different software applications or protocols, assisting users by gathering information, processing data, or performing routine tasks. Some common examples of agents include chatbots, automation software, and web crawlers.


The phonetic spelling of the keyword “Agent” in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is: /ˈeɪdʒənt/

Key Takeaways

  1. Agent is an artificial intelligence that is designed to assist and support users in various tasks and provide relevant information.
  2. Some key features of Agent include providing instant answers, conducting research, offering suggestions, and automating processes.
  3. Agent technology is highly adaptable and can be integrated into various platforms for seamless user assistance across multiple applications.

Importance of Agent

The term “Agent” is important in technology because it refers to a software or system that autonomously carries out tasks, makes decisions, or processes information on behalf of its users or other programs.

As an essential component in various fields, such as artificial intelligence, web services, and network management, agents enable complex operations to be executed efficiently while saving time and resources.

They adapt to dynamic environments and streamline processes by continuously learning from interactions.

Furthermore, agents can significantly enhance user experiences in applications by personalizing content and offering predictive assistance.

Essentially, agents play a pivotal role in the era of digital transformation and contribute to the development of smarter and more responsive systems.


In the realm of technology, the term “agent” refers to an autonomous software program, designed to carry out specific tasks on behalf of a user or system. These agents operate independently, making decisions, taking actions, and communicating with other agents and systems to achieve their assigned objectives.

One of the key purposes of agents is to offload repetitive, time-consuming, or complex tasks from the end-user, thereby enhancing productivity and efficiency. Such applications often employ artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to adapt and learn from their interactions, enabling them to become increasingly effective and responsive over time.

Agents serve various purposes and are utilized across diverse domains, ranging from web crawlers scouring the internet for relevant information, to virtual personal assistants aiding users in managing their schedules and reminders. For example, chatbots automatically engage in customer service or user support, providing prompt responses and addressing common queries, while intelligent agents in e-commerce platforms analyze large volumes of data to present personalized recommendations for products or services.

As technology continues to advance and evolve, the versatility and ubiquity of agents is poised to become a valuable asset in streamlining digital interactions and optimizing user experience.

Examples of Agent

Apple Siri: Apple’s Siri is a well-known voice-controlled intelligent agent available on iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices. It allows users to interact with their devices using natural language, performing tasks like setting reminders, sending messages, making phone calls, providing directions, and answering general questions.

Amazon Alexa: Amazon Alexa is a popular virtual assistant embedded in a range of devices like Echo speakers, Fire TV, and various third-party products. Alexa responds to voice commands and can provide weather updates, news, control smart home devices, set reminders, play music, and perform many other everyday tasks.

Google Assistant: Google Assistant is an AI-driven virtual agent developed by Google that is available on smartphones, smart speakers, smart displays, and other compatible devices. It enables users to perform various tasks using their voice, including sending texts, managing their calendar, searching the internet, obtaining directions, and controlling compatible smart home devices.

Frequently Asked Questions about Agent

1. What is an agent?

An agent is an individual or software that is designated to carry out specific tasks or act on behalf of another entity, such as representing a company, making purchases, or monitoring a network. Agents often have authority or credentials to perform their assigned roles and can vary in complexity from human representatives to autonomous software.

2. What are the different types of agents?

There are various types of agents, including humanoid agents, software agents, and robotic agents. Humanoid agents are real people who represent the interests of their clients. Software agents are algorithms or AI-based programs that perform tasks autonomously. Robotic agents are robots that carry out specific jobs in the physical world, such as surveillance or transportation.

3. How do software agents work?

Software agents work by executing algorithms or artificial intelligence capabilities to perform tasks and make decisions based on pre-defined rules or by learning from their environment. They are usually installed in computers or other devices to automate tasks, gather information, or adapt to various situations.

4. What are some examples of software agents?

Examples of software agents include personal assistants like Siri and Cortana, search engine crawlers and web bots, chatbots that engage with users, intelligent agents in video games, and recommendation systems on e-commerce websites.

5. How are agents used in the business world?

In business, agents can be used for a variety of purposes, including customer service through chatbots, AI-powered decision-making, data or network monitoring, sales and marketing automation, and supply chain optimization. They can reduce manual labor, streamline processes, and improve efficiency.

6. What are the benefits of using agents?

Agents offer numerous benefits, such as increased productivity, reduced human error, the ability to perform tasks 24/7, cost-effectiveness, and improved customer experiences. In addition, their adaptability allows them to handle a wide range of tasks and learn from their experiences, helping them become more efficient over time.

Related Technology Terms

  • Multi-agent system
  • Intelligent agent
  • 3

  • Software agent
  • Autonomous agent
  • 5

  • Agent-based modeling

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents