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) …
Earlier this year, Nervana Systems CEO Naveen Rao was asked what would happen if Intel began attacking the fast-growing market for chips designed specifically for running "deep learning" software. The current market share leader is Nvidia, the leading maker of graphics processing chips used in game consoles and PCs. Since researchers discovered the chips' aptitude for running neural networks, Nvidia has built software to help deep-learning experts use the chips--and it has developed aggressive sales and marketing programs to lock in a big lead. But although graphics chips are much more efficient at running deep-learning software than Intel's conventional CPUs, chips specifically designed for the task should be even more efficient.
At the Intel Developer Forum yesterday, the company even brought out an executive from Chinese cloud giant Baidu to talk about the Xeon Phi, Intel's machine learning chip. Intel executive vice president Diane Bryant mentioned Nervana during yesterday's keynote, but with the deal still not closed, it's understandable that she didn't articulate Intel's plans for the startup. In addition to Baidu's senior vice president Jing Wang, Bryant brought out Slater Victoroff, founder of Indico, a startup using deep learning to analyze text and images. He said he prefers the Intel model, where the host processor also runs the deep learning algorithms.