This DARPA Video Targeting AI Hype Is Necessary Viewing
"That's not a panda."
Artificial intelligence is grossly misunderstood, but you can't really blame the public. However well-intentioned, we're up against multiple coordinated efforts to distort the field, whether that's technologist doomsaying or Singularity marketing. And, as is often the case in overhyped and-or distorted science, there aren't really people on the inside doing the work of bullshit-calling.
DARPAtv published the video below a few days ago and it's worth your 15 minutes. It's a rare clear-eyed look into the guts of AI that's also simple enough for most non-technical folks to follow. It's dry, but IRL computer science is pretty dry. The key point is that that this stuff is still really hard, and many of the things that we imagine AI to be capable of or imminently capable of are in fact looming challenges in the field—problems just now being formulated.
I don't have much else to add. AI, whether it's tasked with facial recognition or piloting DARPA monster-dogs, is really just a lot of statistics and computations that would blitz your laptop. The AI third-wave, where computers will only begin to "understand" the world in abstract terms, is a long ways off.