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) …
Ford, Kenneth M. (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC)) | Allen, James (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC)) | Suri, Niranjan (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC)) | Hayes, Patrick J. (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC)) | Morris, Robert (Nasa Ames Research Center)
Ferguson, George, Allen, James
Mixed-initiative systems are a popular approach to building intelligent systems that can collaborate naturally and effectively with people. But true collaborative behavior requires an agent to possess a number of capabilities, including reasoning, communication, planning, execution, and learning. We describe an integrated approach to the design and implementation of a collaborative problem-solving assistant based on a formal theory of joint activity and a declarative representation of tasks. This approach builds on prior work by us and by others on mixed-initiative dialogue and planning systems.