FCC Cracks Down on AI-generated Voices in Robocalls
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took action to stop the use of AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls. The Commission voted unanimously to recognize AI-generated voices as “artificial” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The ruling makes voice cloning technology used in robocalls targeting consumers illegal effective immediately. Along with fines from the FCC, the new rule allows the FCC to order telephone carriers not to facilitate these types of robocalls and gives consumers the right to file lawsuits against violators.
The FCC’s decision addresses growing concerns that AI could be used to mimic the voices of politicians in attempts to deceive voters ahead of primaries and the general election in November. In January 2024, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office received complaints of calls using President Biden’s voice encouraging people not to vote in the state’s primary.
“Bad actors are using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities, and misinform voters. We’re putting the fraudsters behind these robocalls on notice,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “State Attorneys General will now have new tools to crack down on these scams and ensure the public is protected from fraud and misinformation.”
The action taken by the FCC gives state Attorney Generals the authority to go after the people placing fraudulent calls using AI-generated voices. Previously, AGs had the authority to prosecute any fraud or other crimes that resulted from the call, but not the call itself. In January 2024, 26 Attorney Generals from 26 states sent a letter to the FCC urging the commission to restrict the use of AI by telemarketers.
The FCC has a partnership with 48 states to work together to stop robocalls.
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