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) …
Carbonell, J. R.
Full text available for a fee. The main purpose of the research reported here is to show that a new and more powerful type of computer-assisted instruction (CAI), based on extensive application of artificial-intelligence (AI) techniques, is feasible, and to demonstrate some of its major capabilities. A set of computer programs was written and given the name SCHOLAR. Due to its complexity, only the conception and educational aspects of this system (including an actual on-line protocol) are presented in this paper. IEEE Transactions on Man-Machine Systems MMS-ll:190-202