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) …
We propose an approach for meeting real-time constraints in AI systems that views (1) time as a resource that should be considered when making control decisions, (2) plans as ways of expressing control decisions, and (3) approximate processing as a way of satisfying time constraints that cannot be achieved through normal processing.
Lesser, Victor R., Corkill, Daniel G.
Cooperative distributed problem solving networks are distributed networks of semi-autonomous processing nodes that work together to solve a single problem. The Distributed Vehicle Monitoring Testbed is a flexible and fully-instrumented research tool for empirically evaluating alternative designs for these networks. The testbed simulates a class of a distributed knowledge-based problem solving systems operating on an abstracted version of a vehicle monitoring task. it implements a novel generic architecture for distributed problems solving networks that exploits the use of sophisticated local node control and meta-level control to improve global coherence in network problem solving; (2.)
Lesser, Victor R.
Our program in AI is part of the larger departmental focal area of cybernetics which integrates both AI and brain theory (BT). Our research also draws upon a new and expanding interdepartmental program in cognitive science that brings together researchers in cybernetics, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. This interdisciplinary approach to AI has already led to a number of fruitful collaborations in the areas of cooperative computation, learning, natural language parsing, and vision.