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Pay Up: Facebook Messenger Testing Loan Collection

We all make loans to friends, whether it's a couple of bucks for a soda, or much more to help pay the bills of those we truly love. But unlike debt collectors, some of us feel bad about nagging our buddies about paying up. This is where Facebook Messenger thinks it can swoop in to "help."

Credit: Alexey Rotanov /

(Image credit: Alexey Rotanov /

According to Mashable, Messenger is getting a new feature dubbed "Chat Assist," (currently undergoing testing in the U.S.) which can detect when friends make verbal agreements regarding loaned money. The app is supposed to pick up phrases including the acronym "IOU," and then automatically prompt you to with a payment link.

MORE: What Is Google Allo? (and How You Can Start Using It)

Those looking to test out Chat Assist today may be let down though, as it's yet to show up our testing. A very limited testing group may be for the best if the technology isn't firmly refined, as adding debt collection to a messaging app seems like a perfect way to alienate your users.

Also, we've seen promising AI tools fail plenty of times. Microsoft's Tay failed to understand many of the queries tossed at it, and the Make Twitter Great Again Chrome extension that tries to filter out election tweets ended up flagging unrelated posts and letting some relevant ones slide.

As a concept, Chat Assist seems even more half-baked than the cool-but-creepy Google Assistant, which only pops up in the Allo chat app when you summon it. Imagine an AI working in the background and interjecting into your friendly conversations without permission. It seems like a technology that's only befitting of life in the darkest timeline.