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ELI5: What is an AI Agent?

“Explain like I’m five” or ELI5, is an idea that started on Twitter (now X) as #ELI5  and spawned the Explain Like I’m Five subreddit. ELI5 takes a complex idea or concept and goes through the mental exercise of simplifying it in a way that a young child can understand.

In this BENlabs take on ELI5, we’ll hit on some common — and not so common — terms relating to marketing, influence, and AI and do our best to distill them into simple terms without losing too much of the nuance.

What is an ai agent - an internet help

What is an AI Agent?

An AI agent is like a helpful robot that lives inside computers or phones. Just like you have senses to see and hear, AI agents have sensors to get information from the world around them. They can read data from the internet and some can even listen through microphones, or even look through cameras!

We’re going to talk about one kind of AI agent in particular: an AI research agent.

AI Agents are Internet Helpers

Think about your favorite board game. You’ve played it a lot and you really like it. Now, imagine you got some money for your birthday and you decide you’re going to spend some of that money on a new game. You don’t want something that’s too much like your favorite game. That’d be boring. But you don’t want a game that’s totally different either. You might not like it. What you want is a new game, but one you know you’ll like to play. It might even become your new favorite game.

So, You tell an AI agent that you’re looking for a new game. You can tell it how much of your birthday money you want to spend. You can also tell it what you like about your favorite game so it knows what kinds of things to look for. Then, the AI agent would go out and find some new games that you’re sure to love.

AI agents help you find what you will love

For example, you might say:

“I got $50 for my birthday! I want to spend $25 on a new board game. My favorite game is Critterville Carnival. I like it because my sister and I can play it together or we can play with mom and dad too. I like it because it has animals and because I get to build a zoo. I like that it doesn’t use dice, it uses cards instead. Please help me find a new game that I will love even more.”

The AI agent will tell you about some games you’ll probably like. It’ll also tell you why it picked them and what it thinks you’ll like about them.

All you have to do is pick one and just like that, you have found a new game you’ll probably like. And just like that, you’ve found your new favorite game!

That’s not all AI agents can do, and this is only one kind of AI agent… but that’s the basic idea: An AI agent learns what you’re trying to do and then uses its computer smarts to help you do it.

AI agent understands your interests

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