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) …
Fall news from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, including reports on the Knowledge System Development Tools and Languages workshop, the workshop on AI and Limited Rationality, the Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering workshop, the workshop on Robot Navigation, the Planning and Search Summary workshop, and the workshop on Representation and Compilation in High-Performance Theorem Proving.
Barstow, David R.
Schlumberger is a large, multinational corporation concerned primarily with the measurement, collection, and interpretation of data. For the past fifty years, most of the activities have been related to hydrocarbon exploration. The efficient location and production of hydrocarbons from an underground formation requires a great deal of knowledge about the formation, ranging in scale from the size and shape of the rock's pore spaces to the size and shape of the entire reservoir. Schlumberger provides its clients with two types of information: measurements, called logs, of the petrophysical properties of the rock around the borehole, such as its electrical, acoustical, and radioactive characteristics; and in terpretations of these logs in terms of geophysical properties such as porosity and mineral composition.
Barstow, David R.
Most work in automatic programming has focused primarily on the roles of deduction and programming knowledge. However, the role played by knowledge of the task domain seems to be at least as important, both for the usability of an automatic programming system and for the feasibility of building one which works on non-trivial problems. This perspective has evolved during the course of a variety of studies over the last several years, including detailed examination of existing software for a particular domain (quantitative interpretation of oil well logs) and the implementation of an experimental automatic programming system for that domain. The importance of domain knowledge has two important implications: a primary goal of automatic programming research should be to characterize the programming process for specific domains; and a crucial issue to be addressed in these characterizations is the interaction of domain and programming knowledge during program synthesis.