Artificial Intelligence is a term that has suffered from a lot of inflation the past years, with too many companies gladly and freely using the term for marketing to describe their (most definately not "AI") products. That probably has put many off.
This must be very frustrating for researchers in cognitive engineering and neuroscience because really massive steps forward are being made in understanding how the brain works thanks to their hard work.
Understanding how consciousness is formed is of course not the same as simulating it on a computer.
Still, thanks to this understanding expect many steps forward with adaptive / learning / evolving algorithms. These will find their way in the near future into robots, neural prosthetics, UAV's, image recognition, automonous vehicles, your washing machine and much more.
Look on the site of DARPA (always a good indicator) and you'll see the importance the US Army is placing on "intelligent" technologies.
So yes it is the future. But more in terms of a strategic direction than actual products.