AI Leader Reveals The Future of AI AGENTS (LangChain CEO)

Matthew Berman
2 May 202416:22

TLDRHarrison Chase, CEO and founder of LangChain, discusses the future of AI agents at a Sequoia event. He explains that agents are more than complex prompts, as they can utilize various tools, possess short and long-term memory, and perform planning and actions. The talk highlights the importance of flow engineering, user experience (UX), and memory in developing production-ready AI agents. Chase emphasizes the need for a balance between automation and human involvement, known as 'human in the loop,' to ensure consistency and reliability. He also explores the potential of agent frameworks to improve UX through features like rewind and edit capabilities, and the significance of procedural and personalized memory for the next generation of agents. The discussion leaves viewers intrigued about the future of AI agents and the ongoing exploration of optimal strategies for their development.


  • 🤖 **Agents are more than complex prompts**: Agents utilize language models to interact with the external world, equipped with tools, memory, and the ability to plan and perform actions.
  • 🧠 **Memory in Agents**: Agents have both short-term and long-term memory, which significantly improves their performance. Short-term memory is for within or between conversations, while long-term memory, like RAG, is for saving information to be used later.
  • 🛠️ **Tool Usage**: Agents can access various tools such as calendars, calculators, web, and code interpreters, which enhance their capabilities beyond a simple language model.
  • 📈 **Planning and Actions**: Agents can reflect, plan ahead, break down tasks into subtasks, and perform actions, which are crucial for handling complex tasks that require multiple steps.
  • 🔄 **Iterative Process**: The simple form of agent operation can be thought of as running a language model in a loop, asking it what to do, executing that, and repeating the process.
  • 🌐 **Developer Focus**: Developers are focusing on making agents production-ready, focusing on planning, user experience, and memory to improve real-world application.
  • 🤔 **Planning Strategies**: The necessity of planning strategies like reflection and tree of thoughts is discussed, with questions on whether these are short-term hacks or long-term components.
  • 🔍 **Flow Engineering**: The importance of designing the flow of agent tasks is highlighted, which involves explicitly creating a state machine or graph for task execution.
  • 💡 **User Experience (UX)**: The UX of agent applications is still evolving, with a focus on the human-in-the-loop to ensure consistency, reliability, and quality, especially for enterprise companies.
  • 🔲 **Human-in-the-Loop**: Finding the right balance of human involvement is crucial for effective agent use. Too much human intervention defeats the purpose of automation, but some level of involvement is necessary for quality control.
  • 🔗 **Coordination and Consistency**: Agent frameworks are valuable for coordinating different models and agents, providing tools, and ensuring a consistent workflow, which is essential for enterprise-level applications.

Q & A

  • What is the main focus of Harrison Chase's talk at the Sequoia event?

    -Harrison Chase's talk focuses on AI agents, discussing their current state, future expectations, where they work well, and where they face challenges.

  • What is LangChain and what does it allow developers to do?

    -LangChain is a popular coding framework that enables developers to easily integrate various AI tools by plugging them together, creating a chain of functionalities.

  • How does Harrison Chase differentiate agents from just complex prompts?

    -Harrison Chase explains that agents are more than just complex prompts because they have access to tools, memory (short-term and long-term), and the ability to plan and perform actions, which are not inherent in simple prompts.

  • What are the three main aspects of agents that Harrison Chase discusses in his talk?

    -The three main aspects discussed are planning, user experience (UX), and memory. These aspects are crucial for making agents production-ready and effective in real-world applications.

  • What is the significance of planning in the context of AI agents?

    -Planning is significant because it allows AI agents to reflect, break down complex tasks into subtasks, and logically reason about the best next steps, which improves their performance and reliability.

  • How does flow engineering contribute to the effectiveness of AI agents?

    -Flow engineering involves designing the workflow or state machine that agents follow. It helps offload planning to human engineers and allows for better coordination and consistency in agent behavior.

  • What is the 'human in the loop' concept and why is it important for AI agent applications?

    -The 'human in the loop' concept involves keeping humans as part of the process to ensure consistency, reliability, and quality, especially when dealing with large language models that may produce hallucinations. It's important for steering agents and correcting their outputs when necessary.

  • What are the benefits of having short-term and long-term memory in AI agents?

    -Short-term memory allows agents to remember information within a conversation, while long-term memory, like retrieval augmented generation, enables agents to save and use information over time. This enhances personalization and the ability to learn and improve.

  • What is the role of user experience (UX) in the development of AI agent applications?

    -UX plays a crucial role in how users interact with AI agent applications. A well-designed UX can make agents more reliable and steerable, allowing users to correct and guide agent behavior for better outcomes.

  • How does the ability to 'rewind' and edit agent actions contribute to the user experience?

    -The rewind and edit feature allows users to go back to a previous state in the agent's process, make edits, and then continue from there. This contributes to a more informed and steerable user experience, enhancing reliability and control.

  • What are some challenges and open questions in the development of AI agents?

    -Challenges and open questions include finding the optimal balance of human involvement in the loop, determining the best combination of long-term and short-term memory, tools, and the number of agents, and how to evolve memory with changing business needs.



🤖 Introduction to Agents and Lang Chain

The video script begins with an introduction to Harrison Chase, the CEO and founder of Lang Chain, who discusses agents at a Sequoia event. Lang Chain is a coding framework that simplifies the integration of various AI tools. Harrison emphasizes that agents are more than just complex prompts; they have capabilities like tool usage, memory, planning, and action performance. The talk also mentions the importance of short-term and long-term memory in enhancing agent performance, as demonstrated by Crew AI's framework.


🚀 Planning and the Evolution of Agents

The second paragraph delves into the concept of planning within agents. It discusses the limitations of current language models in reliably performing complex tasks and the use of external prompting strategies to enforce planning. The script highlights the potential for these strategies to become integrated into model APIs in the future. Additionally, it touches on the role of agent frameworks in coordinating different models and tools, and the importance of flow engineering in designing effective agent interactions.


🧩 User Experience and Human-in-the-Loop

The third paragraph focuses on the user experience (UX) of agent applications, emphasizing the necessity of a human-in-the-loop for reliability and quality assurance. It discusses strategies to reduce hallucinations in large language models and the balance between automation and human intervention. The paragraph also explores innovative UX elements like the rewind and edit feature, which allows users to go back and make changes to the agent's actions, enhancing both reliability and steering ability.


🧠 Memory in Agents: Short-Term and Long-Term

The final paragraph discusses the importance of memory in agents, both short-term and long-term. It explores how agents can learn and improve over time through interaction and correction by users. The script also highlights the significance of personalized memory for enhancing user experience and the challenges of managing memory evolution as businesses change. The talk concludes by expressing excitement over the ongoing development and experimentation in agent frameworks and their capabilities.



💡AI Agents

AI Agents refer to autonomous systems that can perform tasks, make decisions, and interact with the external world using artificial intelligence. In the context of the video, AI Agents are not just complex prompts but have the capability to utilize tools, access information, and execute actions, which significantly extends their functionality beyond that of a simple language model.


LangChain is a developer framework mentioned in the video that allows for the easy integration of various AI tools. It is particularly relevant to the discussion of AI Agents as it provides a platform for building applications that utilize these agents, emphasizing the importance of tool integration in enhancing agent capabilities.

💡Memory in Agents

Memory in the context of AI Agents refers to the ability of these systems to retain and utilize information over time. The video discusses both short-term memory, which is essential for maintaining context within a conversation, and long-term memory, which is used for storing information to be used over extended periods. This feature is crucial for agents to learn from past interactions and improve their performance.


Planning in AI Agents involves the ability to strategize and break down complex tasks into subtasks. It is highlighted in the video as a key aspect that differentiates agents from mere language model prompts. Planning allows agents to reflect, self-criticize, and think through a chain of thoughts to achieve goals more effectively.

💡User Experience (UX)

UX, as discussed in the video, pertains to how users interact with AI Agent applications. It is an area of focus for developers to ensure that the interaction with agents is intuitive, reliable, and efficient. The video mentions the importance of a 'human in the loop' approach, where users can guide and correct agents to improve their performance over time.

💡Flow Engineering

Flow Engineering is the process of designing the sequence of actions or 'flow' that an AI Agent takes to accomplish a task. The video emphasizes the importance of this engineering aspect in offloading planning to human engineers and creating a structured approach to how agents operate, which is essential for reliable and consistent agent performance.

💡Large Language Model (LLM)

A Large Language Model (LLM) is an AI system that is trained on a vast amount of text data to understand and generate human-like language. In the context of the video, LLMs are a foundational component of AI Agents, providing the core language understanding capabilities that agents build upon through additional functionalities like tool usage and memory.

💡Crew AI

Crew AI is mentioned as a favorite agent framework in the video. It has recently implemented both short-term and long-term memory features, which have significantly improved agent performance. Crew AI represents the kind of frameworks that facilitate the development of more sophisticated AI Agents by providing essential tools and structures.

💡Human-in-the-Loop (HITL)

Human-in-the-Loop is a strategy where human oversight is integrated into AI systems to ensure reliability and accuracy. The video discusses the necessity of HITL in current AI Agent applications, especially for large enterprises, to avoid hallucinations or incorrect outputs from language models and to maintain a balance between automation and human guidance.

💡Personalization in Agents

Personalization in the context of AI Agents refers to the ability of these systems to remember and utilize information specific to individual users to provide a more tailored experience. The video gives an example of an AI system remembering a user's preference for Italian food, which can be used to personalize future interactions.

💡Tools for Agents

Tools for Agents are the various functionalities and applications that agents can access to perform tasks. The video script mentions that agents can be given unlimited tools, such as access to calendars, calculators, web browsing, and code interpreters. These tools enhance the capabilities of agents, allowing them to execute a wide range of actions beyond language processing.


Harrison Chase, CEO of LangChain, discusses the future of AI agents at a Sequoia event.

LangChain is a popular framework for integrating various AI tools, facilitating agent development.

Agents are more than just complex prompts; they have access to tools, memory, and can perform actions.

Crew AI has released both short-term and long-term memory features, significantly improving agent performance.

Planning involves reflection, self-critique, and breaking down tasks into subtasks.

The Tree of Thoughts paper and reflection techniques allow models to plan and think more slowly.

ORCA, a Microsoft project, teaches models to use slow thinking techniques like reflection.

Developers are exploring whether planning strategies will remain as external tools or be integrated into model APIs.

Flow engineering is crucial for designing effective agent workflows and offloading planning to human engineers.

Agent Frameworks assist with flow engineering, going beyond prompt engineering to coordinate different models and tools.

User experience (UX) is a key area of focus, with the need for a reliable yet automated interaction with agent applications.

Large language models are prone to hallucinations, which can be mitigated through agent frameworks and human-in-the-loop strategies.

The optimal balance of human involvement in the loop is still a subject of experimentation.

Devon's UX, featuring a rewind and edit ability, allows for more informed decision-making by agents.

Pythagora, an AI coding assistant, demonstrates the ability to rewind and edit project steps for improved accuracy.

Memory in agents is divided into procedural and personalized types, with the latter enhancing user experience through personalization.

Long-term and short-term memory are essential for agents to learn, adapt, and provide personalized experiences.

The evolution of agent memory must align with the changing needs of businesses, making it a dynamic and complex feature.

The future of agents involves finding the best combination of memory types, tools, and models for effective coordination and performance.