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) …
The Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences (RoboCup) are a series of competitions and events designed to promote the full integration of AI and robotics research. Following the first RoboCup, held in Nagoya, Japan, in 1997, RoboCup-98 was held in Paris from 2-9 July, overlapping with the real World Cup soccer competition. RoboCup-98 included competitions in three leagues: (1) the simulation league, (2) the real robot small-size league, and (3) the real robot middle-size league. Champion teams were cmunited-98 in both the simulation and the real robot small-size leagues and cs-freiburg (Freiburg, Germany) in the real robot middle-size league.
RoboCup-97, The First Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences, was held at the Fifteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. The world champions are CMUNITED (Carnegie Mellon University) for the small-size league, DREAMTEAM (University of Southern California) and TRACKIES (Osaka University, Japan) for the middle-size league, and AT-HUMBOLDT (Humboldt University) for the simulation league. The Scientific Challenge Award was given to Sean Luke (University of Maryland) for his genetic programming- based simulation team LUKE, and the Engineering Challenge Awards were given to UTTORI UNITED (Utsunomiya University, Toyo University, and Riken, Japan) and RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia) for designing novel omnidirectional driving mechanisms. RoboCup-98, the Second Robot World Cup Soccer, was held in conjunction with the Third International Conference on Multiagent Systems in Paris, France, in July 1998.
The Robot World-Cup Soccer (RoboCup) is an attempt to foster AI and intelligent robotics research by providing a standard problem where a wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined. A robot team must actually perform a soccer game, incorporating various technologies, including design principles of autonomous agents, multiagent collaboration, strategy acquisition, real-time reasoning, robotics, and sensor fusion. RoboCup is a task for a team of multiple fast-moving robots under a dynamic environment. Although RoboCup's final target is a world cup with real robots, RoboCup offers a software platform for research on the software aspects of RoboCup.