Modernizing the AK has been a project the 21st century embraced with gusto. As the AR-15 started sporting ACOGs, EOTechs, and Aimpoints along with laser and grips and all the other ancillaries… AK’s just kinda had their side rail (sometimes) and that was that.
Nowadays, however, the AK in both 7.62 and 5.45 (and 5.56) have come back to match their M4A1 counterparts. Plenty of accessory space and ways to operate with any of the optical options available to the AR’s.
Both the AR and AK not work in modernized spaces, making their operating ergonomics the main point of difference from an end user point of view. The AK still has some slower and more rudimentary operating movements, namely the load, reload, and safety manipulation.
The short of it is that the AK, like the AR, isn’t going anywhere for a few decades yet as it maintains a high degree of effective usability.
I’ll be running mine this Friday.