AI-Based Robocalls Deemed Illegal By FCC

AI-Based Robocalls Deemed Illegal By FCC

( – On February 8, the FCC outlawed robocalls created by artificial intelligence (AI) that imitate the voices of any political candidate in an effort to mislead voters. The decision is immediately effective.

This decision came shortly after John Formella, New Hampshire’s Attorney General, reported that two Texas firms were behind malicious robocalls featuring an AI clone of President Joe Biden’s voice. The calls urged people not to vote in the primary on January 23 but to hold off until the November election.

The FCC announced that it was providing each state attorney general with more resources to combat scams of voice cloning with the unanimous adoption of a ruling that acknowledges calls made using voices generated with AI are artificial. This recognition is in accordance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which is a 1991 law that restricts junk calls using prerecorded and artificial voice messages.

The rule gives the FCC the authority to punish businesses or prohibit service providers that utilize AI voices during their calls. The FCC claims this legislation provides state attorneys general with the ability to prosecute lawbreakers and allows call receivers to initiate legal action.

According to Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC Chairwoman, scammers are impersonating celebrities, extorting the weak, and misleading voters by using AI-generated fake voices in unwanted robocalls. They’re sending a message to the con artists responsible for these automated calls.

Calls like this have been on the rise recently, according to the FCC. This technology can imitate the voices of celebrities, politicians, and even close relatives, which may lead customers astray with false information.

Consumer protection legislation generally prohibits telemarketers from using automatic dialing, fake, or prerecorded audio messages to call cellphones or landlines, unless they have obtained explicit written approval from the receiver. The latest decision establishes that robocalls, including voices manufactured by AI, are similarly enforceable since they are artificial.

Fines for violations may be very high, reaching a maximum of over $23,000 for each call, according to the FCC.

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