Criticising supposed AI as "just pattern recognition" ignores a major fact.
Most human intelligence is pattern recognition. For example, my younger colleagues consider me very good at mental arithmetic. I just know my times tables up to 16 (older Scottish) and so many other patterns that I don't even know they're there.
All the people asking about the "post Covid world" are asking for new patterns. When early humans went to a new place, they were in more danger until they identified the patterns of the area - what certain birds flying in circles meant (vultures?), what particular shadows and noises indicated (predators that might eat them) and so on.
Pattern recognition is intelligence.