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 material is reproduced with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc." NATURAL LANGUAGE GENERATION Natural language generation is the process of deliberately constructing a natural-language text in order to meet Specified communicative goals. The term "text" is intended as a general, recursive term that can apply to utterances or parts of utterances of any size, spoken or written. In people, whether a text is spoken or written has implications for the amount of deliberation and editing that may have gone on; if "spoken" language is identified with a lack of revision, most programs today "speak" even though nearly all only display words on a display screen. Since the choice of whether to revise, or whether to use print or voice, is usually not an option for a generation program today, these particulars are only mentioned when they are an issue in a program's design. The goals come from another program, perhaps an expert reasoning system or an ICAI tutor, that is motivated to talk to a human user.
In describing MYCIN's design considerations in Chapter 3, we pointed out that an ability of the program to explain its reasoning and defend its advice was an early major performance goal. It would be misleading, however, to suggest that explanation was a primary focus in the original conception. As was true for many elements of the system, the concept of system transparency evolved gradually during the early years. In reflecting on that period, we now find it impossible to recall exactly when the idea was first articulated. The SCHOLAR program (Carbonell, 1970a) was our working model of an interactive system, and we were trying to develop ways to use that model for both training and consultation.