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) …
This paper proposes a method for handling the frame problem in representing conceptual, or natural-language-type information. The method is part of a larger calculus for expressing conceptual information, called P c F-2, which is described in Sandewall (1972), and which is a modification and extension of Sandewall (1971a). When the STRIPS schema adds a fact, PLANNER would add the corresponding fact to the data base using the primitive thassert. In this context, by epistemological information we mean a notation together with a set of rules (for example, logical axioms) which describe permissible deductions.
Another substantial body of work on general problem-solving is that associated with the Graph Traverser program (Doran and Michie 1966, Doran 1967, Michie 1967, Doran 1968, Michie, Fleming and Oldfield 1968, Michie and Ross 1970). In this section and the next we shall consider the transition from heuristic problem-solving as exemplified by the Graph Traverser, to planning by a robot as exemplified by my own work and that of Marsh (Doran 1967, 1967a, 1968a, 1969; Marsh 1970; Michie 1967, 1968a; Popplestone 1967). In order to do this efficiently the program uses, in general, a heuristic state evaluation function and heuristic operator selection techniques to grow the search tree in the most promising direction. The following types of learning occurred in the system: (a) learning of the relationship between acts and perceptions by noting the effects of individual acts, by making generalizations about the effects of acts, and by noting that certain complicated transitions from one perceived state to another can always be achieved, (b) learning which acts to employ in particular situations and the benefits to be expected -- a kind of habit formation.
It seems most unlikely that one could in general write purely applicative Schonfmkel descriptions', like (5), of functions already known to one in some other form. One makes assertions in the system by writing clauses, i.e., finite collections of literals considered as disjunctions of their members, universally quantified with respect to all variables. In other words, this is a first-order language in which there is only one relation symbol, namely equality; only one function symbol, namely application; and a collection of individual constants. In particular the resolution principle may be used as sole principle; or the resolution principle together with paramodulation (Robinson and Wos 1969); or Sibert's system (Sibert 1969); or the E-resolution system of Morris (1969).