I played a 2v2, Medium Galaxy, Average difficulty AI yesterday and just finished a 2v2 Hard AI, small galaxy. First game lasted about three hours and the second about 4 and half. Both however could have ended earlier by adopting a more aggressive playstyle but that's beyond the point of this thread.
Some things I took notice too however was the immediate increased use of Capital Ships for the AI, which is a good thing. But overall I think it may be worse off at attacking then prior to the last update.
Prior to the update I used to see massive Light frigate or Carrier attacks with Hard AI's (20-30+ of just one type of ship), and battles around a planet would draw out quite a bit. However post update it might be a little more varied in the selection, with more capital ships tossed in to the mix, but with far lesser amounts of regular ships overall. At least that's the impression I got.
Looking at the post-game reports after the last game, I noticed the AI doesn't spend any credits at all on increasing the Capital Ships experience level, which is an invaluable utility. Add on the advanced crew research and you can increase a ship straight out of the factory to level 5. I believe if the AI used this feature that it'd, hopefully, lose less of it's Capital ships needlessly to assaults that are clearly not in it's favor.
Another area I find the AI lacking in, is in building up a proper infrastructure that supports the high cost of research, ship building, and planetary infrastructure. Late game of my second game I had to pump my allied AI with a considerable amount of credits, simply because it's fleet was pathetic in size, and it had almost no resources or credits to spend.
A greater focus on Trade Ports and Taxes is something the AI badly needs, in my opinion. It also seems it's using culture at lot less then pre-patch games. On the other hand, from the post-game reports, I like that the AI spends a fair bit on exploration of the it's planets at least. Especially given some of the bonuses you can acquire from the exploration.
Last but not least, I believe the AI needs to be more aggressive, especially on Hard, in it's defense of it's planets at the border to other players/AI's. As well as ceasing to send one-five ship fleets and instead build up a more threating force to assault with.