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) …
Anderson, Michael L., Barkowsky, Thomas, Berry, Pauline, Blank, Douglas, Chklovski, Timothy, Domingos, Pedro, Druzdzel, Marek J., Freksa, Christian, Gersh, John, Hegarty, Mary, Leong, Tze-Yun, Lieberman, Henry, Lowe, Ric, Luperfoy, Susann, Mihalcea, Rada, Meeden, Lisa, Miller, David P., Oates, Tim, Popp, Robert, Shapiro, Daniel, Schurr, Nathan, Singh, Push, Yen, John
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence presented its 2005 Spring Symposium Series on Monday through Wednesday, March 21-23, 2005 at Stanford University in Stanford, California. The topics of the eight symposia in this symposium series were (1) AI Technologies for Homeland Security; (2) Challenges to Decision Support in a Changing World; (3) Developmental Robotics; (4) Dialogical Robots: Verbal Interaction with Embodied Agents and Situated Devices; (5) Knowledge Collection from Volunteer Contributors; (6) Metacognition in Computation; (7) Persistent Assistants: Living and Working with AI; and (8) Reasoning with Mental and External Diagrams: Computational Modeling and Spatial Assistance.
A long-standing dream of artificial intelligence has been to put commonsense knowledge into computers -- enabling machines to reason about everyday life. However, it is widely assumed that the use of common sense in interactive applications will remain impractical for years, until these collections can be considered sufficiently complete and commonsense reasoning sufficiently robust. Recently, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Laboratory, we have had some success in applying commonsense knowledge in a number of intelligent interface agents, despite the admittedly spotty coverage and unreliable inference of today's commonsense knowledge systems.
To build a machine that has "common sense" was once a principal goal in the field of artificial intelligence. But most researchers in recent years have retreated from that ambitious aim. We are convinced, however, that no one such method will ever turn out to be "best," and that instead, the powerful AI systems of the future will use a diverse array of resources that, together, will deal with a great range of problems. To build a machine that's resourceful enough to have humanlike common sense, we must develop ways to combine the advantages of multiple methods to represent knowledge, multiple ways to make inferences, and multiple ways to learn.