An (intelligent) agent is an autonomous entity which observes and acts upon an environment using actuators (i.e. it is an agent) and directs its activity towards achieving goals. Intelligent agents may also learn or use knowledge to achieve their goals. One can see the IoT domain in the context of AI agents, chatbots as agents acting through natural language and so on.
The approach to and implementation agents is somewhat different than the one related to (labeled) deep learning and machine learning. Reinforcement learning is often seen as the third type of ‘learning’ and together with neural networks it leads to deep reinforcement learning. One of the driving forces behind (deep) reinforcement is related to autonomous vehicles, drones and alike. In order to have autonomous deep sea exploration
for example, one needs flexible AI adapting to varying environments and challenges. Somewhat surprisingly, the world of computer games has become the ideal arena where agents can be tested. Project Malmo by Microsoft
shows among other things how the popular Minecraft world is a mocked environment to experiment with AI agents. There are in fact plenty of (business) worlds where agents are used; algorithmic trading
, lung cancer