The FCC says robocalls that use AI-generated voices are illegal

The Federal Communications Commission is moving forward A plan to ban AI robocalls. Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of the Declaratory Resolution was proposed in late January. Under the measure, the FCC considers robocalls made using AI-generated voices to be “artificial” voices under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This makes the practice illegal. The decision comes into force immediately.

“Bad actors are using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, impersonate celebrities and misinform voters. “We’re warning the scammers behind these robocalls,” FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. “State Attorneys General will now have new tools to fight these scams and protect the public from fraud and misinformation.”

The TCPA is a law enacted in 1991 that prohibits the use of artificial or recorded voices to make residential calls without consent. It is up to the FCC to create rules to implement this legislation Ars Technica notes. As the FCC noted last month, under the TCPA, telemarketers “must obtain the prior express written consent of consumers before placing automated calls. If successful, this Proclamation Decision will ensure that AI-generated voice calls are held to the same standards.”

The FCC has voted in favor of the ban, reaching a bit of an inflection point for artificial intelligence. Over the past year, such technologies have not only become more widespread, but an artificial intelligence-generated version of President Joe Biden’s voice has been used. in a recent robocall It prompted Democrats to abstain in New Hampshire’s presidential primary. A criminal investigation work is being done on this incident.

Given that we’re in an election year and the volume of disinformation and misinformation may be on the rise, cracking down on AI robocalls seems like a smart move now. While Stage AGs can take action against robocallers, the FCC also has the ability to fine them under the TCPA. Agency last year gave the biggest fine $300 million last year versus a company that made more than 5 billion robocalls in three months.

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