"They're all still dumb as bricks most of the time."
That's a very good analogy. You can make all sorts of very useful things out of bricks. Bricks are very useful and come in different styles, shapes and materials so they can be used in different situations, On the other hand, you'd not really use bricks to build a car or an aircraft or even a ship, let alone a computer.
And so, likewise, algorithms are dumb, most of the time. They can do certain things very well. But they are not truly "learning" or "intelligent".