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) …
A large high-speed general-purpose digital computer (IBM 7090) wasProgrammed to solve elementary symbolic integration problems at approximatelythe level of a good college freshman. The program is called SAINT,an acronym for "Symbolic Automatic INTegrator." The SAINT programis written in LISP (McCarthy, 1960), and most of the work reported hereJs the substance of a doctoral dissertation at the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology (Slagle, 1961). This discussion concerns the SAINT programand its performance.Some typical samples of SAINT's external behavior are given so thatthe reader may think in concrete terms. Journal of the ACM, Vol 10, No. 4, pp. 507-520, October 1963.