I'm somewhat on the fence with the new AI.
There's two sides to this coin.
First, having an NPC that doesn't do the "spiral of death" is a good thing. Having an actual challenge in fights is good. Also having fights that last longer than 5 seconds is good.
However, this further pushes trading (and long distance hauling missions) as the only viable means to the average player to make any serious amounts of money. Especially for newer players. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. Realistically, it might make sense, but gameplay wise, I'm not so sure.
I'm not happy at all with the implementation of the new AI, however. Improvements to the AI, IMO, should make the AI smarter, but not to give them stat buffs to ridiculously high levels.
The very first thing I did, when I finally got around to updating, was to go to a Haz RES, and find a high level Conda with my A-rated Python. First thing I did, CQC. And you know what I found? Not only did that Conda keep up with the turning wars, it actually got a bead on me multiple times. As in actually facing me. Name a single instance where a human player in a conda would win in a turning war against a Python. And it's not as if I'm a stranger to the flight assist off stuff. The way I won was to actually break the turning war, which I would have eventually lost, and eventually destroy the power plant. I lost some hull, but after shields up, I located a high level python, and engaged, same strategy with CQC. And that Python out turned me so bad I had to escape and jump out.
I'm in an A-rated Python, mind you. Maybe not the best ship for bounty hunting, but it was a standard I wanted to test the AI.
I'm all for tougher AI. But I'm for smarter AI, not simply buffed AI. Buffing an AI's stats =/= AI improvement, only tougher but equally dumb AI.
Now maybe it's just me, and I really, really stink at CQC. But I think I've proven my point.
I'm all for Cobras killing NPC Pythons, provided that the pilots are skilled enough to take on the challange. They shouldn't be simply not allowed to because "Muh ship's bigger, bruh." Average players, never. Skilled, absolutely. Why not?