The Power of Multi-Agent Systems vs Single Agents

6 min read

Over the past few years, the emergence of powerful Large Language Models, notably ChatGPT, has catapulted AI into the global limelight. While these models are exceptional at comprehending and producing human-like text, they only represent the beginning of the AI revolution.

By enhancing LLMs, you can create AI entities or ‘agents’ capable of operating within an environment. These agents can understand what's happening around them, decide what to do, and then take action to reach their objectives.

However, forward thinking business leaders know that the true transformative power of AI lies not in individual, jack-of-all-trades agents, but in combining highly specialized agents into coordinated multi-agent systems that tackle complex workflows and challenges.

Investing in multi-agent systems will have a profound impact on your company's efficiency and scalability, so let’s break down why they’re an essential addition to your businesses.

What’s the difference between a multi-agent system and a single agent?

Single Agent Systems: These AI systems rely on one agent to carry out a diverse range of tasks and responsibilities. Think of it as a versatile generalist, trained to handle multiple duties.

Multi-Agent Systems: A multi-agent system (MAS) is composed of multiple interacting intelligent agents - autonomous entities that can sense, learn models of their environment, make decisions and act upon them. Imagine a well-oiled machine, where each specialized agent brings its unique expertise to the table. They work together in harmony, coordinating their efforts to achieve collective goals more effectively. It's like having a dream team of experts, each playing to their strengths.

Now, let's dive into the real meat and potatoes of why multi-agent systems are the heavy hitters in the AI arena.

Efficiency and throughput on steroids

By divvying up tasks among multiple specialized agents, multi-agent systems can skyrocket efficiency and productivity. Each agent gets to focus on their area of expertise, minimizing bottlenecks and maximizing output. The result? Complex tasks get knocked out faster and more efficiently.

Flexibility and scaling

One of the biggest advantages of multi-agent systems is their ability to adapt and scale. You can remove or modify agents easily, and as your business needs evolve or workloads increase, you can seamlessly integrate new agents into the system, enhancing its capabilities without having to retrain the model from scratch or deal with the costly replacements and disruptive downtime caused by short staffing in a human team.

Specialized expertise

In today's complex business landscape, tackling diverse challenges often requires a wide range of specialized knowledge and expertise. This is where multi-agent systems excel, allowing you to integrate agents with deep domain expertise in areas like marketing, finance, supply chain management, or customer service. By combining the strengths of specialized agents, you can address multifaceted problems more effectively than a single, generalized agent ever could.

Resilience and fault tolerance

Let's face it – systems can fail, and when that happens with a single agent, the whole operation comes to a screeching halt. With multi-agent systems, you've got built-in redundancy and fault tolerance. If one agent goes down or needs maintenance, the others can keep things running smoothly, minimizing the impact on overall system performance.


The compartmentalized nature of multi agent systems makes them more transparent and easier to manage. It's like having a problem with a team project and knowing exactly who to talk to for a solution based on roles. If an improvement is needed, you can easily identify the responsible 'team member' and help them adjust. This level of interpretability is not just handy for system maintenance and optimization, but it's also key to building trust in AI systems, especially in sectors where understanding the decision-making process is a must.

Automated workflows

In a multi-agent architecture, individual agents can be purpose-built and programmed to handle specific steps within larger, complex workflows. They communicate and orchestrate their actions in a synchronized manner, meaning repetitive processes that would traditionally require manual oversight can run autonomously 24/7.

Crucially, automated multi-agent workflows provide a level of consistency, repeatability and reduced error rates that human teams simply cannot match. Each agent follows its programmed instructions to a tee, eliminating the variability and potential for mistakes that plague manual processes.

But here's where it gets really exciting.

The compounding effect of collective intelligence

When you bring together multiple specialized agents, you're not just adding their individual capabilities – you're unlocking a level of collective intelligence that far exceeds the sum of its parts.

Imagine you're tasked with developing a comprehensive marketing strategy for a new product launch. A single agent might struggle to effectively integrate aspects like market research, branding, content creation, and data analysis. But with a multi-agent system, you can seamlessly coordinate agents specializing in each of these areas, allowing for a truly holistic and well-rounded approach.

As you integrate more agents into your multi-agent system, the possibilities for innovation and problem-solving expand exponentially. Each new agent brings a fresh perspective, specialized knowledge, and tailored capabilities, creating a virtuous cycle of collaboration and collective intelligence.

How to get started with multi-agent systems

Multi-agent systems as a core part of what we’re building at Relevance AI. We think they can solve complex problems that single agents cannot. So we’ve built it and we call it AI Agent Teams.

As an aside, the Relevance AI flagship BDR Agent is actually a multi-agent system. This agent is a complex system, made up of many subagents that each perform their specific role in the BDR process.

You can get in touch about scheduling a demo for the BDR agent here.

In short

The choice between single agents and multi-agent systems could be the difference between just keeping up and truly staying ahead of the curve. As the adoption of AI continues to accelerate, it’s clear that multi-agent systems will play a starring role in driving innovation, efficiency, and problem-solving across industries.

March 12, 2024
Caitlin McCartney
No items found.
You might also like