FCC bans AI-generated voices in robocalls

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FCC bans AI-generated voices in robocalls
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In a groundbreaking announcement on Thursday, the FCC declared an immediate ban on robocalls employing cloned voices created through artificial intelligence. This landmark decision categorizes AI-generated voices as “artificial” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a legislation designed to minimize the onslaught of unwanted calls.

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Empowering State Attorneys General Against Robocall Scams

The FCC emphasized that this prohibition specifically targets the voice cloning technology commonly utilized in nefarious robocall scams. By taking this bold step, the regulatory body aims to provide state attorneys general with potent tools to combat the perpetrators orchestrating these malicious campaigns. The move is poised to empower legal authorities to pursue and penalize those responsible for the increasing menace of robocall fraud.

Unanimous FCC Decision Swiftly Implemented

This regulatory crackdown transpired just a week after FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel proposed the prohibition of AI-generated robocalls featuring cloned voices of celebrities and even recipients’ family members on January 31. While the public disclosure occurred on Thursday, the decision was unanimously adopted a mere two days after Rosenworcel presented her compelling proposal.

FCC Chair Rosenworcel Warns Robocall Scammers

Addressing the urgency of the matter, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel issued a stern warning on Thursday, highlighting the malicious use of AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls. These fraudulent calls have been exploiting vulnerable family members, impersonating celebrities, and spreading misinformation among voters. Rosenworcel asserted, “We’re putting the fraudsters behind these robocalls on notice.” She further emphasized that state attorneys general now possess enhanced tools to crack down on such scams, safeguarding the public from fraud and misinformation.

Escalation of AI-Generated Robocalls Spurs FCC Action

The FCC acknowledged the alarming escalation of AI-generated robocalls over the past few years, citing the technology’s potential to sow confusion among consumers by mimicking the voices of celebrities, political candidates, and close family members. This move is a strategic response to a growing threat that has exploited technological advancements to deceive and manipulate unsuspecting recipients.

FCC’s Warning in Wake of Deepfake Robocall Campaign

The FCC’s recent action follows a stern warning issued to alleged culprits behind a robocall campaign that employed a deepfake of President Joe Biden’s voice. The deceptive campaign urged New Hampshire voters to stay home during the state’s Jan. 23 Republican primary. In a decisive move, the FCC accused two Texas-based companies, with Lingo Telecom in the spotlight, of orchestrating the fake robocalls. The agency threatened Lingo Telecom with potential network blockage by downstream telecommunications providers if it fails to halt the use of its network for illegal robocalls.