I read this article in CNet that talks about functionality we can expect in the next generation of digital cameras. Cameras that have face detection are already fairly standard, and Sony's new Smile Shutter feature takes it one step further; only taking the photo when someone in the shot smiles.
The CNet article mentions a few technologies that are interesting, and the combination of these technologies look to make the sorting of photos a lot more hassle-free. There's the possibility of automatic tagging of photos for location based on GPS, tagging of people based on face recognition, and tagging of emotion based on expression detection. I could imagine extensions into analysis of the scenery in the background too. Identification of buildings in the background, perhaps the weather, whether it's night or day, indoors or outdoors, etc. The possibilities seem nearly endless given the gigantic leaps that are being made in computerized pattern recognition.
Give it a few years, and automatic tagging could mean that you could just snap away wherever and whenever you are, transfer the photos when you get home, and have some basic photo software organise and name your photos for you. Without doing any manual tagging yourself, you might be able to search for all photos of John in Paris, or even photos of at least three people with the Eiffel Tower behind them when it's raining and at least one person is looking miserable.
The prevalence of digital cameras and the plummeting price of solid-state memory has basically meant that you don't need to wait for a great shot to start snapping away. Consequently, it's not uncommon for people to come back from a two week holiday with over 1000 photos. Who wants to sort through all of that?
I'm heading to Thailand soon and I'm likely to come back with more photos than I know what to do with. With the technology where it is right now, I'll be spending a very long time sorting through those photos when I get back. I'm dreading it even now. I'm sure I'll long for the day when I don't have to do it at all.