Thank you for the response! I'd say it's more bittersweet.
"Most big breakthroughs came through engineering by finding ways to scale up further and further." I don't think that's true. Science studies and discovers the principles behind the phenomena. Engineering builds upon that. However, the limits of engineering are definitely set by the scope of science. Most breakthroughs in AI happened either because cognitive sciences were advancing, computer science permitted them or because some group of scientists, that perfectly understood the principles behind the machines, created something new.
Scaling up doesn't need much understanding. And without understanding, there's no breakthrough (only by rare serendipity).