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) …
Bledsoe, W. W. | Chan, H.
Bledsoe, W. W. | Browning, I.
"MANY EFFORTS have been made to discriminate, categorize, and quantitate patterns, and to reduce them into a usable machine language. The results have ordinarily been methods or devices with a high degree of specificity. For example, some devices require a special type font; others can read only one type font; still others require magnetic ink. We have an interest in decision-making circuits with the following qualities: (1) measurable high reliability in decision making, (2) either a high or a low reliability input, and (3) possibly low reliability components. The high specificity of the devices and methods mentioned above was felt to be a drawback for our purposes. All of these approaches prove upon inspection to center upon analysis of the specific characteristics of patterns into parts, followed by a synthesis of the whole from the parts. In these studies, pattern recognition of the whole, that is, Gestalt recognition, was chosen as a more fruitful avenue of approach and as a satisfactory problem for the initial phases of the over-all study."Proceedings of the Eastern Joint Computer Conference, pp. 225-232, New York: Association for Computing Machinery