If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) held its 1996 Fall Symposia Series on 9 to 11 November in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This article contains summaries of the seven symposia that were conducted: (1) Configuration; (2) Developing Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities; (3) Embodied Cognition and Action; (4) Flexible Computation: Results, Issues, and Opportunities; (5) Knowledge Representation Systems Based on Natural Language; (6) Learning Complex Behaviors in Adaptive Intelligent Systems; and (7) Plan Execution: Problems and Issues.