In artificial intelligence, an intelligent agent (IA) refers to an autonomous entity which acts, directing its activity towards achieving goals (i.e. it is an agent), upon an environment using observation through sensors and consequent actuators (i.e. it is intelligent). Intelligent agents may also learn or use knowledge to achieve their goals. They may be very simple or very complex. A reflex machine, such as a thermostat, is considered an example of an intelligent agent.