FCC prohibits the use of AI-generated voices in robocalls News
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FCC prohibits the use of AI-generated voices in robocalls

In a unanimous decision, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a declaratory ruling Thursday that prohibits the use of AI-generated voices in robocalls.

Aiming to combat fraud and prevent election interference, the decision expands upon the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 to explicitly prohibit AI voice-cloning technologies. The FCC now has the authority to impose penalties on entities responsible for unlawful robocalls. Carriers are mandated to block these calls, and the act empowers consumers and organizations to seek legal redress. State Attorneys General also have additional enforcement mechanisms under the TCPA to combat and penalize the illicit use of robocall technology.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said:

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. State Attorneys General will now have new tools to crack down on these scams and ensure the public is protected from fraud and misinformation.

This decision comes in response to the increasingly sophisticated methods of fraud facilitated by AI, particularly voice cloning technologies that emulate real human voices. Recently in New Hampshire, AI-generated robocalls impersonated President Joe Biden, misleading voters before the state’s primary elections. Soon afterward, in partnership with the New Hampshire State Attorney General, FCC issued a cease-and-desist order against Texas-based Lingo Telecom, demanding an immediate halt to the robocalls.

The FCC’s regulation is part of a broader campaign to preemptively address the malicious use of AI, including a Notice of Inquiry launched in November 2023 that examined AI’s role in robocalls. This investigation, which also involved a bipartisan Anti-Robocall Task Force, ultimately led to the ban.