When I was 13 or so years old I bought a book at You-Do-It Electronics titled Experiments in Artificial Intelligence for Small Computers, authored by John Krutch. This book influenced me in important ways. It teaches the essentials of AI so anyone could understand it. Examples are presented in the BASIC programming language. One of the examples presented is of the classic Eliza sort of conversational system. Not cutting edge research, but as a starter it gets the job done.
I was able to use the techniques in the book to create demos for the computers at NEECO. A person visiting the store would ask the computer about itself, and the computer would try and respond appropriately with a demonstration of features.
The book can still be purchased used on Amazon.