as John Markoff reports in this article Slipstream - A Software Secretary That Takes Charge on NYTimes.com about web based intelligent assistants. The company mentioned - Rearden Commerce - is a leader in providing this kind of advanced services mostly to business travelers today that we will see more of in future and that will be deployed in leisure travel as well.
DARPA - the original developer of the internet - is investing huge amounts in artificial intelligence development and although mainly intended for military use, there will be an inevitable spill over effect into the commercial world. The implications for the travel industry are huge and the changes in how travel is researched, planned and booked will undergo significant improvement over how it is done today. The circle of the pre- during and post travel phases will be completed with tools for each totally integrated and easy to use. It will be an exciting time in travel as we enter the next decade of the web. Who will be next the winners?