So to allay fears that we've completely given up on the mod: we haven't, it's just been extremely quiet due to PR himself being on indefinite hiatus and myself and Ghost being busy with life. I've personally been making some further improvements to AI, and Ghost has been working on campaigns.
Regarding the AI: yes, turning down the AI contrast multiplier does increase the AI aggressiveness. However, it's not quite as simple as that, because if you lower it too much the AI doesn't send enough units to deal with the defending forces. So instead I've been doing a lot of work rewriting AI equations both in XML and Lua. The AI now has a better idea of the individual value of planets (in the mod) and reacts a little more quickly to weakly-defended systems.