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) …
Games have played a prominent role as a test-bed for advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence ever since its foundation over half a century ago, resulting in highly specialized world-class game-playing systems being developed for various games. The establishment of the International General Game Playing Competition in 2005, however, resulted in a renewed interest in more general problem solving approaches to game playing. In general game playing (GGP) the goal is to create game-playing systems that autonomously learn how to skillfully play a wide variety of games, given only the descriptions of the game rules. In this paper we review the history of the competition, discuss progress made so far, and list outstanding research challenges.
Barkowsky, Thomas (University of Bremen) | Bertel, Sven (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) | Broz, Frank (University of Hertfordshire) | Chaudhri, Vinay K. (SRI International) | Eagle, Nathan (txteagle, Inc.) | Genesereth, Michael (Stanford University) | Halpin, Harry (University of Edinburgh) | Hamner, Emily (Carnegie Mellon University) | Hoffmann, Gabe (Palo Alto Research Center) | Hölscher, Christoph (University of Freiburg) | Horvitz, Eric (Microsoft Research) | Lauwers, Tom (Carnegie Mellon University) | McGuinness, Deborah L. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) | Michalowski, Marek (BeatBots LLC) | Mower, Emily (University of Southern California) | Shipley, Thomas F. (Temple University) | Stubbs, Kristen (iRobot) | Vogl, Roland (Stanford University) | Williams, Mary-Anne (University of Technology)
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, in cooperation with Stanford University's Department of Computer Science, is pleased to present the 2010 Spring Symposium Series, to be held Monday through Wednesday, March 22–24, 2010 at Stanford University. The titles of the seven symposia are Artificial Intelligence for Development; Cognitive Shape Processing; Educational Robotics and Beyond: Design and Evaluation; Embedded Reasoning: Intelligence in Embedded Systems Intelligent Information Privacy Management; It's All in the Timing: Representing and Reasoning about Time in Interactive Behavior; and Linked Data Meets Artificial Intelligence.
A general game playing system is one that can accept a formal description of a game and play the game effectively without human intervention. Unlike specialized game players, such as Deep Blue, general game players do not rely on algorithms designed in advance for specific games; and, unlike Deep Blue, they are able to play different kinds of games. In order to promote work in this area, the AAAI is sponsoring an open competition at this summer's Twentieth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. This article is an overview of the technical issues and logistics associated with this summer's competition, as well as the relevance of general game playing to the long range-goals of artificial intelligence.