Virtual assistant and AI agent symbols side by side
Generative AI
Touchapon Kraisingkorn
min read
May 31, 2024

Assistive AI vs Agentic AI: What's the difference?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, two distinct paradigms have emerged: Assistive AI and Agentic AI. While both leverage the power of generative AI, they serve fundamentally different roles in how they interact with users and perform tasks.

A table chart shows the difference between assistive AI and agentic AI
Comparison Chart of Assistive AI and Agentic AI

Assistive AI is designed to help users complete tasks. It acts as a co-pilot, providing necessary information and suggestions to help users make informed decisions. For instance, in a customer contact center, an assistive AI might provide real-time information and recommended responses to help a human agent answer customer queries more efficiently. The human agent remains in control, using AI's assistance to enhance its performance.

On the other hand, Agentic AI is built to perform tasks on behalf of the user. It takes on a more autonomous role, executing tasks with minimal human intervention. An example of this would be a customer service agent AI that handles Q&A tasks entirely, freeing human agents to focus on more complex issues. In this scenario, the AI not only assists but also acts as the primary executor of the task.

How Generative AI is Being Used for Assistive Tasks

Generative AI has already made significant strides in assistive applications. Internal Q&A chatbots are a prime example, where AI systems are deployed within organizations to provide instant answers to employee queries, thereby improving productivity and efficiency. These chatbots leverage natural language processing (NLP)  to understand and respond to questions, acting as a valuable resource for employees seeking information.

Another notable example is Microsoft Copilot, an AI-powered tool integrated into Microsoft Office applications. Copilot assists users by generating text, creating summaries, and providing data insights, all within the familiar interface of Office applications. This assistive AI helps users complete tasks more quickly and accurately, enhancing their overall productivity.

The infographic shows AI being uses for assistive tasks
Generative AI is Being Used for Assistive Tasks

How Generative AI is Evolving into Agentic AI

The evolution of generative AI into more agentic roles is marked by the development of frameworks like AutoGen and CrewAI. These frameworks enable the creation of AI teams, each with specialized roles, to tackle complex tasks and automate workflows. For instance, a team of AI agents could be assembled to manage a marketing campaign, with each agent handling different aspects such as content creation, data analysis, and customer engagement.

AutoGen and CrewAI allow users to define the roles and responsibilities of each AI agent, ensuring that the output is tailored to specific needs. Human input is still crucial in setting parameters and approving final outputs, but the bulk of the work is carried out by the AI agents. This shift towards agentic AI represents a significant step forward in automating complex tasks and enhancing operational efficiency.

The working process of Agentic AI
Diagram showing the work of Agentic AI

2024: The Year of Agentic Workflows

As we look ahead to 2024, it is clear that agentic workflows will drive the wider adoption of generative AI in businesses around the world. The ability of AI to autonomously perform tasks, while still allowing for human oversight and control, presents a compelling value proposition for organizations seeking to streamline operations and reduce costs.

Agentic AI will enable businesses to automate routine tasks, freeing up human resources to focus on strategic initiatives and creative problem-solving. This shift will not only improve efficiency but also foster innovation, as employees are empowered to leverage AI in new and transformative ways.

The organization full around with diverse applications of generative AI
Diverse applications of generative AI in an organization

In conclusion, the distinction between assistive and agentic AI highlights the diverse applications of generative AI in today's business landscape. As AI continues to evolve, the move towards more autonomous, agentic roles will undoubtedly shape the future of work, driving greater adoption and unlocking new possibilities for businesses worldwide.

Consult with our experts at Amity Solutions for additional information on AI assistance here