At the most basic level, Peterscheck tells how the AI should be able to do anything that a player does -- mining, trading, combat, etc. On top of that, the NPCs will have behaviors, like patrolling, decisions on if they like you or want to blast you out of space, and when to chicken out of a fight. The aspect that he believes is perhaps one level above what you might see in a lot of other games, however, is the way that the AI will react to situations occurring in the world.
The example that Peterscheck gives is of a station that broadcasts that it is low on a certain resource, and another station deciding then to load up a ship with said resource and send it their way to give them a hand. Now when I read this, I immediately thought, "Oooh, I'd be out there looking for that hauler to 'borrow' their cargo and drive a hard bargain with the needy station!".
And it turns out, that is exactly the kind of thing that Peterscheck hopes will happen. Maybe there would be other players with the same idea that would be competing with me for the bounty -- and after the hauler has been engaged, you can be sure that back-up would be on the way, and it wouldn't be long before the sky was lit up in a giant firefight.
These sorts of dynamic interactions between the AI and game world are there to promote the feeling that things are going on and to immerse players in the game world. I'd like to hear other examples of how this advanced AI will find ways to interact with other AI and players, but what we've learned so far definitely sounds interesting. If this has piqued your interest, you can sign up for the beta here, and the full developer journal is linked below.