Digital Employees, often referred to as Digital Workers, Non-Human Workers, or Intelligent Agents, are software-driven entities capable of autonomously performing end-to-end work processes using a diverse set of skills.

The specific tasks and responsibilities of Digital Employees vary based on their job role, industry, and the objectives set by the manager or employer.

In contrast with regular AI Agents, Digital Employees are artificial intelligence (AI) agents characterized by four key elements:

  1. Presence in the physical world.
  2. Omnichannel capabilities.
  3. Omniflow capabilities.
  4. Omniuser capabilities.

This category of agents stands out from regular intelligent agents (there’s a big difference!). They can augment the behavior of real-world (physical office) receptionists, concierges, salespeople, consultants, and other biological employees.

Typical Digital Employees are expected to:

  • Provide services and handle customer inquiries.
  • Utilize corporate knowledge bases and training materials, corporate information systems, such as help desk, CRM, and ERP tools, vital for their duties.
  • Undertake intellectual tasks such as data analysis and problem-solving.
  • Adhere to company policies and procedures, including privacy policy and confidentiality.
  • Meet performance goals, KPIs, and mission.

More advanced Digital Employees are also expected to:

  • Collaborate with team members to achieve collective goals.
  • Engage in training and development.
  • Participate in meetings.
  • Report to supervisors or managers, provide updates, seek feedback, and obtain guidance on tasks and projects.

In essence, Digital Employees contribute to the organization’s goals and objectives by providing services, managing operations, or supporting colleagues.

Consider the following:

  • Customer Support Digital Employees can engage with customers across multiple channels, such as calls, messages, and emails. By integrating with CRMs, help desk systems, and more, they provide real-time solutions, ensuring satisfactory resolution of customer issues.
  • Accounts Payable Digital Employees oversee and process incoming invoices. Using financial software, they cross-check purchase orders, validate transaction details, and facilitate on-time payments.
  • Sales Consultant Digital Employees connect with potential clients via online chats, phone calls, and emails. They provide information using CRM and ERP systems, presentations, and knowledge bases like Confluence, focusing on fostering relationships and securing business.

Digital Employee vs. a Regular Intelligent Agent: What’s the Difference?

Consider the analogy of a driverless car. A car with automated features like cruise control or obstacle avoidance but still needs a driver doesn’t fully relieve humans from driving. Such a car remains a “tool” requiring human operation.

In contrast, a fully driverless car, which operates without a driver, fundamentally differs from other intelligent cars by eliminating human involvement in driving, both operationally and financially.

In this metaphor, the car with automated features is akin to regular intelligent agents requiring human intervention, while the fully driverless car is akin to Digital Employees.

Digital Employee vs. RPA/bot: What’s the Difference?

At their core, RPA – robotic process automation software robots (bots) are designed for specific tasks. On the other hand, Digital Employees augment human roles by undertaking entire business functions. A Digital Employee can independently manage tasks like processing invoices and proactively answering queries without being pre-programmed.

Furthermore, Digital Employees:

  • Seamlessly complete tasks as a human would, often collaborating with human counterparts.
  • Efficiently navigates different corporate systems, bridging data gaps to facilitate informed decisions and swift actions.
  • Understand and respond to human intent in natural language.
  • Take proactive steps to achieve their mission.

The Need for Digital Employees

A Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey from June 29, 2022, revealed that 80% of CEOs and business owners are wary of inflation’s impact on their business strategy. Additionally, 59% consider labor and skill shortages as prime business disruptors. In this landscape, Digital Employees can offer flexibility and empowerment, which CEOs and business owners deem more influential than hikes in pay or benefits.

Furthermore, Small-Business Labor Crisis Report 2023 revealed that:

  • 11.3 million small-business owners say they struggle to find employees who can do the necessary work.
  • Over half of small-business owners with 50 or more employees say retaining their existing staff has been very challenging. That’s 18.3 million small businesses!
  • Almost one in four small-business owners say they’ve had to shorten their business hours or stop offering certain services due to worker shortages.

Is AI Ready for Digital Employees?

Recent breakthroughs in AI technology, notably by Microsoft in March 2023, have shown capabilities “strikingly close to human-level performance.” Their extensive research, encapsulated in “Sparks of Artificial General Intelligence: Early experiments with GPT-4”, suggests that models like GPT-4 demonstrate significantly higher intelligence levels than prior models.

These AI models have exhibited remarkable capabilities in fields such as law, mathematics, and biology. Their proficiency isn’t limited to theoretical knowledge; they provide logical solutions when posed with practical puzzles.

Furthermore, articles from Insider in 2023 highlight the impeccable performance of AI models, including GPT-4 and ChatGPT, in various rigorous examinations. Their achievements range from acing the bar exam, SAT, and GRE, to excelling in the USA Biology Olympiad Semifinal Exam and multiple AP Exams. First-of-Its-Kind Digital Employee Builder

The distinction between regular intelligent agents and Digital Employees sets apart. is like a WordPress builder for creating AI Digital Employees. This means they embody the four key elements: Presence in the physical world, omnichannel, omniflow, and omniuser capabilities.

To our knowledge, no other intelligent agent builder currently allows businesses to create a Digital Employee class agent in 2 hours, 2 days, or even 2 weeks.

While it’s theoretically possible to create a Digital Employee class of intelligent agents using Python or regular Agent builders, it would likely take many months to achieve and will also need ongoing efforts to maintain and keep updated.

What Is the Difference Between Omni-… and Multi-…?

Omnichannel communication provides a seamless, integrated customer experience across all channels, whether online or offline, allowing information sharing from one channel to another. In contrast, multichannel communication involves using multiple channels to reach customers but operates them in silos.

Similarly, Omniflow and Omniuser refer to seamless, integrated tasks and data sharing across different flows and users if needed.

Omnichannel case: The agent collects payment details in the phone call (Channel 1) with Jennifer and seamlessly continues the payment conversation through an AI kiosk (Channel 2) when Jennifer enters the restaurant.

Omniflow case: The agent receives information about allergies from Michael during the pre-sale consultation (Flow 1) and seamlessly uses this information during the post-sale onboarding educational session (Flow 2).

Omniuser case: The agent agrees on birthday party preferences with Steven (User 1) and seamlessly uses this information during the follow-up call with Steven’s wife, Andy (User 2).

Why Does Emphasize “Presence in the Physical World”?

Working with physical world interfaces such as talking head kiosks, smart speakers, and robots like Moxie fundamentally involves several user identification and segregation challenges.

Multiple individuals, for example, Jennifer, Michael, and Steven, may approach and address a single kiosk sequentially or simultaneously. The agent must be able to identify each user individually and link them to their respective histories.
Solving this problem includes:

  • Speaker separation, which involves distinguishing the voice of a specific speaker from signals in a multi-speaker public space through methods like voice IDs, face IDs, and control words. This requires integrating face recognition and voice prints with user database management.
  • End-of-speech prediction/detection, which is a significant challenge in noisy public environments.
  • Predicting the last words for early Speech-to-Text (STT) submission to achieve agent response times of less than 500 milliseconds.

The Remarkable Impact of Digital Employees

Digital Employees are reshaping the work landscape. Their integration can empower human employees to pivot to higher-value tasks. Instead of perceiving them as replacements, they should be seen as enhancements.

They can revive the enthusiasm of employees stuck in monotonous roles by allowing them to focus on new challenges and skill acquisition, benefiting both the individual and the business.


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