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FCC Moves To Ban AI-Generated Robocalls, Making Fraud Charges Easier

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No one likes robocalls, and the use of AI-generated voices, such as that of President Biden, has made them even more intolerable. The FCC is now proposing to outlaw the use of voice cloning technology in robocalls, making it easier to prosecute the operators of these fraudulent calls.

Key Takeaway

The FCC is taking steps to outlaw the use of AI-generated voices in robocalls, aiming to empower authorities to crack down on fraudulent call operations and protect consumers from scams.

Cracking Down on Illegal Robocalls

The FCC’s move comes in response to the recent surge in fake Biden calls in New Hampshire, which aimed to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election and suppress voters. While robocalls are generally illegal, the use of voice cloning technology in such calls will now be explicitly deemed illegal, simplifying the process of charging those responsible for these scams.

Empowering State Attorneys General

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel emphasized that this action will provide State Attorneys General offices with new tools to combat these scams and protect consumers. By recognizing AI-powered voice cloning as illegal under existing law, the FCC aims to facilitate crackdowns on fraudulent robocalls.

Investigating the Risk of AI-Enhanced Robocalls

The FCC is leveraging the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to prosecute robocallers and telephone scammers. However, the legality of cloned voices under this act has been ambiguous. To address this, the FCC is considering issuing a Declaratory Ruling that would classify AI-powered voice cloning as falling under the category of “artificial” voices, thereby making it illegal.

Adapting to Technological Advancements

The evolving landscape of telephone, messaging, and generative voice technologies necessitates rapid iterations of the law. While the legal applications of voice cloning technology may exist, the focus remains on curbing its illegal use in robocalls. The FCC’s efforts reflect a work in progress to combat fraudulent calls and protect consumers.

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