That is a red herring. The fact is, the AI was atrocious in ME1.
In ME2 and 3 yes. ME1 had some promise and Bioware showed a lot of improvement when compared to KOTOR, a game that is the most similar to ME1.(There's even some reused objects)
There was only one story: evil demon machines are coming to destroy us. It was shown in three parts.
Part 1: Introduction of demon machines and their intent to kill us all
Part 2: Pointless meandering
Part 3: Pathetic resolution of evil demon machine invasion.
So..what part of this plot line was so good or "showed promise", exactly?
How about every single character arch in between the main 'reason' for the story? Every character had interesting backstories and 95% of the game was interacting with THEM not the reapers or the 'threat'. It was a great game with plenty of great little stories let down by a deus ex machina ending. I would still recommend the whole series in a heartbeat to any fan of sci fi. The universe they realized is believable, technologically sound (for the most part), and diverse.
Yes it has some major gaping flaws but it is still a fun ride with at least a few of the player choices feeling like they had impact on the story they were telling.