People are interested, otherwise we wouldn't be making strides to create different AI that serve different purposes at this time.
The only people not interested are those who either do not care for interacting with AI, or seeking new technological advancements.
The AI in Oblivion was more or less devised to appear as if it was something complex, when really it was pre-coded random paths for which the game chose to present you. I don't really see Bethesda, the most incapable of devs, having creating some "living" AI, since the radiant didn't even display much complexity, outside of appearing random, but when you look at it, it was the game jumbling different choices/paths, to then have said choices/paths find the player and interact, but only you, since you were the agent that could control what was going on within the game.
AN AI director also serves a similar function, in that it observes your progression, and is then instructed to interact with you, via making your life difficult or easier, never really reaching out to you personally, in a more meaningful way, that isn't "X enemies are stronger/more in number". Take L4D's Director, it simply chose to make things more hectic or sparse for you, that was literally all it could do, and nothing more.
Have you ever thought as something so complex, as an AI that becomes self aware?. We dream of it via films like Terminator, and that's the sort of AI I want, not some director that's told to do only two things, or one that is jumbled like some rubix cube, in order to appear different on the outside, but static in nature on the inside.
Personally, I find what SC is doing as a small step, but a bigger step than what other AAA games are offering, especially in terms of interaction types and massive worlds. At least leaving an entering a planet in that game looks and feels more immersive, while NMS's one is simply a transition moment, but one that is very brief.
Most of my interests are towards AI, I have studied the then emerging subject in university and read sci fi about it all the time. However why would a self aware AI be interested in keeping you entertained. What you want to make is an AI to replace the good old dungeon master with the ability to put new adventures and environments together to make you part of a story that interests you. Self awareness only gets in the way of that imo, plus what being self aware actually means or if it means anything is still a mystery. Actually conscious thoughts usually get in the way of performing well in certain games. Thinking about taking the next corner in a racing game usually screws me up. Got to get in the 'zone', let your subconscious do the work and enjoy the results.
Games are designed to interact with the player. In a mmorpg you don't really bother to find out what the other 1000 people on the server are doing, you just go on by yourself or a small group and now and then see others running by. Why make complex AI to simulate the lives of all the people in the game if they just get ignored 99% of the time. It's cool for simcity to say that every citizen has it's own objectives, own paths and you can follow them on their way. That quickly gets boring. I'm glad I can summon my freighter at any time in nms instead of having to track it down, find a way to meet up with it etc.
Anyway different pace. Elite Dangerous does approaching planets very well. Which also makes it a lot of work to meet up with people on a planet. It's hard to strike the right balance between simulation and game play. KSP is even better for simulation, yet without time acceleration it would be unplayable.
For now Elite dangerous for realism
And truly feeling alone in the Galaxy. However finding a world with scraps of life or geological activity can take days of playing, flying from system to system, scanning everything until you detect traces of something interesting. And as you see, I stopped bothering to find a landing spot and hop in the rover since you can scan from the ship just as easily. After a while it becomes a game of finding screenshot opportunities in a sea of uninteresting barren planets.
NMS goes the opposite, every planet is interesting. Which kinda makes traveling somewhere pointless. There's no flying somewhere to get a good shot of a nebula and a ringed gas giant in the sky at night. It happens so often it takes the wonder away.
Running around in NMS does feel more fun than driving around in the rover in Elite dangerous.
Would NMS still be fun if you spend days finding an earth like planet, take half an hour to land carefully to then do what exactly? Movies can't even do exploration very well, it never takes long until the guns come out :/