Well, I just thought i'd inform everyone.
That you can't interact with NPC's when autopause is on, is not a bug. It is essentially the pause function, and it would be highly unrealistic and a bit of a cheat if you could interact with them while the world is frozen around you. Think about it, would you consider it fair if you could? I think it's much more balanced that we can only interact with them with our inventory screen closed, or with autopause off.
Thanks for reading.