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) …
Developing intelligent agents and cognitive models is a complex software engineering activity. This article shows how all intelligent agent creation tools can be improved by taking advantage of established software engineering principles such as high-level languages, maintenance-oriented development environments, and software reuse. We describe how these principles have been realized in the Herbal integrated development environment, a collection of tools that allows agent developers to exploit modern software engineering principles.