An agent is an autonomous entity with an ontological commitment and agenda of its own.

The term originated in philosophy.

Each agent possesses the ability to act autonomously; this is an important distinction because a simple act of obedience to a command does not qualify an entity as an agent.

An agent may interact or negotiate with its environment and/or with other agents. It may make decisions, such as whether to trust and whether to cooperate with others.

Types of Agents

  • Agent, Law - In law an agent is a person authorized to act for another, with delegated authority, such as a person holding a power of attorney. Examples:
  • software agent.

  • Brokers - For some Agent-based computer systems, 'Object Request Brokers' or ORBs complement and speed up the response time of the system, by brokering the requests of the system.

The term agent is also used for sentient programs found in the Matrix that battle the humans fighting for freedom.