This came up this morning while chatting with a content manager friend
of mine. She's installing one of those "virtual smart agent"
things on her customer's web site.
It's one of those little in-page chat windows that pops up and asks
if you'd like to talk to an agent and get help.
She says they "increase conversions 10%".
I think they're one of the more annoying, and misused bits of fluff
to appear in the past few years.