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) …
Intelligence is a complex, natural phenomenon exhibited by humans and many other living things, without sharply defined boundaries between intelligent and unintelligent behaviour. Artificial inteliigence focuses on the phenomenon of intelligent behaviour, in humans or machines. Experimentation with computer programs allows us to manipulate their design and intervene in the environmental conditions in ways that are not possible with humans. Thus, experimentation can help us to understand what principles govern intelligent action and what mechanisms are sufficient for computers to replicate intelligent behaviours.Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A. 1994 349 1689
This book (originally published in 1994 by Ellis Horwood) is now out of print. The copyright now resides with the editors who have decided to make the material freely available on the web.This book is based on the EC (ESPRIT) project StatLog which compare and evaluated a range of classification techniques, with an assessment of their merits, disadvantages and range of application. This integrated volume provides a concise introduction to each method, and reviews comparative trials in large-scale commercial and industrial problems. It makes accessible to a wide range of workers the complex issue of classification as approached through machine learning, statistics and neural networks, encouraging a cross-fertilization between these discplines.
See also:Yoav Shoham. An Overview of Agent-Oriented Programming. In Software agents, Jeffrey M. Bradshaw (Ed.). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA 271-290.Yoav Shoham. Agent oriented programming. The Seventh Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1993), Volume 1; p 303.Yoav Shoham. Agent oriented programming: An overview of the framework and summary of recent research. In Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Under Uncertainty. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 808, 1994, pp 123-129. Yoav Shoham. Final Report on AFOSR grant AF F49620-94-1-0090: Communication and coordination in multi-agent systems: agent-oriented programming and computational social laws. Robotics Laboratory, Computer Science Department, Stanford University. 6 December, 1996.Artificial Intelligence, 60 (1), 51-92