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) …
Smith, R. G. | Davis, R.
"Two forms of cooperation in distributed problem solving are considered: task-sharing and result-sharing. In the former, nodes assist each other by sharing the computational load for the execution of subtasks of the overall problem. In the latter, nodes assist each other by sharing partial results which are based on somewhat different perspectives on the overall problem. Different perspectives arise because the nodes use different knowledge sources (KS’s) (e.g., syntax versus acoustics in the case of a speech-understanding system) or different data (e.g., data that is sensed at different locations in the case of a distributed sensing system). Particular attention is given to control and to internode communication for the two forms of cooperation. For each, the basic methodology is presented and systems in which it has been used are described. The two forms are then compared and the types of applications for which they are suitable are considered."Direct link to PDF.IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMCll(l):61-70