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) …
Anand, Sarabjot Singh, Bahls, Daniel, Burghart, Catherina R., Burstein, Mark, Chen, Huajun, Collins, John, Dietterich, Tom, Doyle, Jon, Drummond, Chris, Elazmeh, William, Geib, Christopher, Goldsmith, Judy, Guesgen, Hans W., Hendler, Jim, Jannach, Dietmar, Japkowicz, Nathalie, Junker, Ulrich, Kaminka, Gal A., Kobsa, Alfred, Lang, Jerome, Leake, David B., Lewis, Lundy, Ligozat, Gerard, Macskassy, Sofus, McDermott, Drew, Metzler, Ted, Mobasher, Bamshad, Nambiar, Ullas, Nie, Zaiqing, Orsvarn, Klas, O'Sullivan, Barry, Pynadath, David, Renz, Jochen, Rodriguez, Rita V., Roth-Berghofer, Thomas, Schulz, Stefan, Studer, Rudi, Wang, Yimin, Wellman, Michael
The AAAI-07 workshop program was held Sunday and Monday, July 22-23, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The program included the following thirteen workshops: (1) Acquiring Planning Knowledge via Demonstration; (2) Configuration; (3) Evaluating Architectures for Intelligence; (4) Evaluation Methods for Machine Learning; (5) Explanation-Aware Computing; (6) Human Implications of Human-Robot Interaction; (7) Intelligent Techniques for Web Personalization; (8) Plan, Activity, and Intent Recognition; (9) Preference Handling for Artificial Intelligence; (10) Semantic e-Science; (11) Spatial and Temporal Reasoning; (12) Trading Agent Design and Analysis; and (13) Information Integration on the Web.
We can take planning to be the optimization and debugging of a robot's program by reasoning about possible courses of execution. It is necessary to the extent that fragments of robot programs are combined at run time. There are several strands of research in the field; I survey six: (1) attempts to avoid planning; (2) the design of flexible plan notations; (3) theories of time-constrained planning; (4) planning by projecting and repairing faulty plans; (5) motion planning; and (6) the learning of optimal behaviors from reinforcements. However, we are already beginning to see how to mesh plan execution with plan generation and learning.