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 program called "AM" is described which carries on simple mathematics research,defining and studying new concepts under the guidance of a large body ofheuristic rules. The 250 heuristics communicate via an agenda mechanism, aglobal priority queue of small tasks for the program to perform, and reasons whyeach task is plausible (for example, "Find generalizations of 'primes', because'primes' turned out to be so useful a concept"). Each concept is represented asan active, structured knowledge module. One hundred very incomplete modulesare initially supplied, each one corresponding to an elementary set-theoreticconcept (for example, union). This provides a definite but immense space whichAM begins to explore. In one hour, AM rediscovers hundreds of common concepts(including singleton sets, natural numbers, arithmetic) and theorems (for example,unique factorization).Summary of Ph.D. dissertation.Hayes, J.E., D. Michie, and L. I. Mikulich (Eds.), Machine Intelligence 9, Ellis Horwood.
In my view, the present "critical situation" in M.T., is not due tothe fact that genuine Mechanical Translation is inherently impossible, asBar-Hillel thinks, but to the fact that the mechanizable techniques atpresent being used to analyse language are not powerful enough to detectthe message, or argument, of any particular text.Other papers from this conference online. See Table of Contents with links to online papers from the Proc. 1961 International Conference on Machine Translation of Languages and Applied Language Analysis, Proc. 1961 International Conference on Machine Translation of Languages and Applied Language Analysis, pp. 438-475, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1962