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) …
This book (originally published in 1994 by Ellis Horwood) is now out of print. The copyright now resides with the editors who have decided to make the material freely available on the web.This book is based on the EC (ESPRIT) project StatLog which compare and evaluated a range of classification techniques, with an assessment of their merits, disadvantages and range of application. This integrated volume provides a concise introduction to each method, and reviews comparative trials in large-scale commercial and industrial problems. It makes accessible to a wide range of workers the complex issue of classification as approached through machine learning, statistics and neural networks, encouraging a cross-fertilization between these discplines.
Michie, D., Ross, R.
"The main topic of the present paper is the proposal that general-purpose search procedures should be able to use accumulating experience of a given problem to improve search efficiency at run time. One of the mechanisms to be described involves optimization of numerical parameters used to control the search, reminiscent of the 'learning by generalization' used in Samuel's (1959) checkers-playing program." B. Meltzer and D. Michie (Eds.), Machine intelligence 5. New York: American Elsevier, 301-318.