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) …
Computer based consultants are systems that incorporate specialized bodies of knowledge and make this knowledge conveniently available to users who are not computer experts. This paper summarizes initial progress on a computer based consultant project aimed at helping a novice mechanic work with electromechanical equipment. We describe some properties and abilities of consultants, and present results to date on the problem solving, vision, and natural language components of our evolving system.Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Vol 2, pp. 831-841, 1975.