The 6 essential elements of all AI Agents

These are the 6 essential elements all AI Agents should have (in no specific order).

1. Inputs and triggers

Inputs and triggers are the first essential component of AI agents. These are the stimuli or commands that the AI agent responds to. They can come from a user, such as a command to perform a certain task, or they can be programmed to act on their own to accomplish specific goals. For instance, an AI agent might be programmed to perform certain actions at specific times of the day. Additionally, AI agents can also "wake up" or become active in response to certain inputs, such as incoming emails, messages, or other forms of communication. This ability to respond to various inputs and triggers allows AI agents to interact with their environment and carry out their functions effectively.

2. Responses

The second essential component of AI agents is their ability to produce responses. These responses can take various forms depending on the task at hand. For instance, an AI agent might generate text as a response to a user's query or command. This is commonly seen in chatbots or virtual assistants that communicate with users through text. In other cases, AI agents might generate images or videos as responses. This is particularly relevant in fields like graphic design or video editing, where AI can be used to automate certain tasks. The ability to produce diverse responses allows AI agents to be versatile and useful in a wide range of applications.

3. Memory

The third essential component of AI agents is memory. Memory in AI agents is crucial for storing and retrieving information, learning from past experiences, and making informed decisions. The in-built memory of an AI agent allows it to store data it has processed, which can be used for future reference. This is similar to how humans use memory to recall past experiences and use that information to inform future actions. Another important aspect of AI memory is Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG). RAG combines the powers of retrieval and generation to provide detailed and accurate responses. It retrieves relevant documents from its memory and uses them to generate a response, enhancing the quality and relevance of the output. This ability to remember and utilize past information makes AI agents more efficient and effective in their tasks.

4. Loops and recursion

The fourth essential component of AI agents is the ability to use loops and recursion. This involves the AI's ability to write prompts and execute tasks that require multiple steps or commands. Loops allow an AI agent to perform a task repeatedly until a specific condition, task, or goal is met. At the same time, recursion involves the AI using its own functions to solve complex problems. This is akin to AI using AI to accomplish tasks. For instance, an AI agent might use a loop to continuously monitor incoming emails and respond to them as they arrive. On the other hand, recursion might be used in multi-step commands that require the AI to prompt the user for additional information or clarification. This ability to handle complex, multi-step tasks makes AI agents more versatile and capable of handling a wide range of tasks.

5. 3rd party Actions

The fifth essential component of AI agents is the ability to perform 3rd party actions. This involves the AI's ability to write source code and call third-party APIs or libraries. This allows the AI to interact with other software and services, expanding its capabilities beyond its own programming. For instance, an AI agent might make API calls to retrieve data from a web service, or it might execute small functions using third-party libraries. The AI could also call 3rd party applications to perform tasks that are outside its own capabilities. This ability to interact with and utilize third-party resources greatly enhances the versatility and usefulness of AI agents.

6. Comprehension

The final essential component of AI agents is comprehension, which involves their ability to understand and interpret information. This includes browsing the internet, reading documents, and retrieving relevant information. AI agents can navigate the internet autonomously, comprehend web pages, blog posts, news articles, and more. They can also interpret text documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, and other types of information. This comprehension is crucial for tasks like answering queries and making informed decisions. It enables AI agents to interact meaningfully with their environment.

These six elements can be achieved if broken down into small consumable parts.

Justin Macorin | LinkedIn
Lead Machine Learning Engineer, Seismic

Justin is a Lead Machine Learning Engineer with Seismic, the leading global sales enablement platform. His mission is to help accelerate the adoption of AI and help engineers accelerate their development of prompt-based applications.