Sail boats have very limited acceleration, and when they lose speed, they drift downwind. Tacking (apart from roll-tacking a small racing dinghy) kills pretty much all your speed, so repeatedly 'zig-zagging' is rarely an efficient way to get anywhere, and would only be used when tacking up a narrow channel, or the like.
On the open ocean, it's not uncommon to hold the same tack for multiple *days*, before tacking back. Even sailing between closeby islands in the caribbean, we'd often take just two or theee tacks of several hours each.
Many people (including me) are used to seeing the excessive tacking of America's Cup and similar racing, where one needs to remain on course and close to the opponent and the boats are designed to lose little speed.
Your observation suggests that the best user interface for tacking might be the completely explicit one of changing course. AI assistance could still play a role in easy navigation to adjust the course depending on varying wind strength and direction.