The Federal Communications Commission announced on Thursday that robocalls with artificial intelligence (AI) generated voice will be illegal as of right now.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) “deems calls made with AI-generated voices ‘artificial,'” according to a statement released by the FCC, adding the decision “makes voice cloning technology used in common robocall scams targeting consumers illegal.” The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a 1991 law that controls and prohibits telemarketing and robocalling.
What was the outcome of the New Hampshire robocalls?
The incident that occurred prior to the New Hampshire primary elections led to the ruling. A press release issued by the New Hampshire Department of Justice stated that between 5,000 and 25,000 calls were placed to people residing in the state. Voters were urged not to participate in the primaries by an AI-generated voice that sounded a lot like President Joe Biden.
Following a thorough investigation that involved the involvement of a task force of fifty attorneys general, the origin of the calls was identified as Life Corporation, a Texas-based company, and Lingo Telecom, a provider of numerous calls. There was also mention of a Walter Monk who was connected to Life Corporation.
According to a notice from the New Hampshire DOJ, Life Corporation is the recipient of a cease-and-desist order.
What does the new ruling do for the FCC?
As per the FCC announcement, the new rule grants the agency the power to penalize robocallers, block calls from phone carriers discovered to be aiding robocalls, and enable individuals or groups harmed by robocalls to file lawsuits against the robocallers.
In the press release, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel was quoted discussing the potential applications of the recent decision. Voters are being misled, extorted, and imitated by bad actors using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls, the speaker claimed. They are alerting the scammers who are making these robocalls.
Rosenworcel further stated that state law enforcement should have greater authority nationwide to battle AI-generated voices in robocalls. With these newfound resources, state attorneys general will be better equipped to combat such frauds and safeguard the public from deception and fraud.