When Agent Smith, or another goon of the agents, uses his earpiece and then begins to tap into a "blue-pill" human, taking over his entity, what language are they hearing?

They're sentient programs, not fax machines. Though I wouldn't be surprised if the canon somewhere states that the messages they're receiving through their ears sounds just like a fax machine.

Or is it visual?

Basically, in The Matrix, how do agents communicate with each other? And on top of this, who are they getting the information from?

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    A quick side-note, don't characterize agent Smith as a "goon" as he very well might be the chosen one. Feb 2, 2016 at 8:37
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    Human words are also abstractions. Do you have any concious perception or understanding of the "machine" language of your cells or the chemicals they are made up of? Are we any more than biochemical machines; or even, are our conciousnesses merely constructs living in the matrix that is our own chemlical body? Does anyone not deluded by religion think we are any more than this?
    – user60386
    Feb 2, 2016 at 18:18
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    This answer sounds much better if read in a Laurence Fishburne voice. Feb 2, 2016 at 18:20
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    @Tom That would have been a good comment if it hadn't been for the sudden, derogatory ending.
    – jpmc26
    Feb 2, 2016 at 23:10
  • Agents simply talked to each other. Transfers probably used standard Matrix code.
    – Mithoron
    Feb 5, 2016 at 22:56

3 Answers 3


As the Agents are programmatic constructs of an artificial intelligence simulation, they would most likely communicate in machine code. As far as sound goes, it would not actually create any sound. Can you hear your computer's processes as the keyboard tells the screen to render letters? The look, however, would depend on the specific architecture and language behind the hardware that it was written on. If they were written on old Z-80 assemblers:

ld b,0
ld a,($1000)
add a,b
ld b,a
ld a,($1001)
add a,b
ld b,a
ld a,($1002)
add a,b
ld b,a
ld a,($1003)
add a,b
ld b,a
ld a,($1004)
add a,b
ld b,a

However, if you were to hook up one of the machines running the agents to a modem...


other old dial-up noises here.

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    Thumbs up for the visual representation of the specific sound! Feb 2, 2016 at 8:38
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    While this might be one logical answer, it seems to me like the canon answer would be that they indeed use normal human languages. In the first movie, the agents talk among each other even though no one else is around, and they speak in English. Then again, this could of course be like in Star Wars or Lotr where they do not speak English, it's just "rendered" as English for the viewers.
    – Tobberoth
    Feb 2, 2016 at 12:14
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    Speculation point aside, communicating via executable code would be a horrible idea.
    – mikołak
    Feb 2, 2016 at 13:38
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    @mikołak: If that's what they do, it makes Neo's ability to defeat them a whole lot less impressive - he just has to run around yelling a noise that decodes as HLT HLT HLT HLT HLT HLT HLT HLT... Feb 2, 2016 at 18:15
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    Just like how humans communicate by squirting DNA at each other.. Well, sometimes.
    – Blorgbeard
    Feb 2, 2016 at 19:59

The matrix is a simulation that all the humans are experiencing as virtual reality.

The actions by the agents - like listening to earpieces and shooting people with guns are perceptual abstractions of what they are really doing. If you think about it, a watchdog program could just disconnect a defective human in the simulation. But this would probably cause problems when the other humans see this person just disappear from their virtual world - so, the agents continue the fantasy by appearing as we would expect in a real world.

The program also needs to deal with the externally connected "terrorists" like Morpheus and Neo and their crew in such a way that would continue the fantasy of the rest of the simulation.

  • Thanks. Interesting on these two. Hilarious modem plug BTW lol Feb 2, 2016 at 5:38
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    Morpheus once said that the agents are limited by the laws of the matrix. So their interaction with the matrix should follow the physical laws that we are familiar with. Maybe they can still communicate with each other any way they want, but to kill somebody they really have to shoot them. Feb 3, 2016 at 8:02
  • Or hack into them and jump in front of a train Feb 5, 2016 at 10:34

It appears that they use their earpiece for communication. When Smith took his earpiece off while interrogating Morpheus, he didn't know that somebody is in the building before the other agents came to tell him.

Morpheus once said:

[The agents'] strength and their speed are still based in a world that is built on rules. Because of that, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be.

The idea here is to make sure nobody perceives something supernatural that will make them doubt the matrix. This means that when agents interact with the matrix, they follow the physical laws we are familiar with. Considering that the lack of the earpiece prevents them from communicating makes me think that this is the only way they communicate. This would mean that they are strict about keeping the illusion real which would imply that they communicate in a human language (e.g. english).

  • 2
    I unchecked my answer, this one's interesting. I'm curious to see if others will have an interesting approach to this too. I think it has to do with Smith himself, in the third he's even [out] of the matrix. And he hates the flesh shell he's in, and he also considers us mammals a disease. With that being said, the Architect is the boss who created the version they were designed in though. And he had a pen...It did things my pen can't. Feb 5, 2016 at 10:40

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