FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Proposes to Classify AI-Generated Voices “Artificial” Voices Under the TCPA, Potentially Subjecting AI Voice Marketing to Strict Anti-Robocall Rules
Today, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel put forward a proposal urging the FCC to legally categorize calls made with AI-generated voices as “artificial” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). According to the Chairwoman, this move aims to make “deepfake” scam calls cloning other people’s voices illegal. The prevalence of such deceptive calls has surged in recent months, with AI technology capable of mimicking the voices of celebrities, political figures, and even close family members, leading to potential confusion and misinformation for consumers. The FCC intends to empower State Attorneys General nationwide with new tools to crack down on malicious actors orchestrating such nefarious robocalls and hold them accountable under the existing law.
This initiative follows the FCC’s November Notice of Inquiry, which sought to gather insights on combating illegal robocalls and the potential involvement of AI. The FCC inquired about the use of AI in scams, particularly those imitating familiar voices, and explored whether such technology should be subject to TCPA oversight. The FCC also sought input on how AI could be harnessed for positive outcomes, such as recognizing illegal robocalls before they reach consumers.
The proposed Declaratory Ruling, if successfully enacted, would ensure that AI-generated voice calls adhere to the same standards as other “artificial” voice calls under the TCPA. This aligns with the FCC’s broader efforts to establish partnerships with law enforcement agencies and State Attorneys General across the nation to identify and eliminate illegal robocalls. Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle A. Henry, leading a coalition of 26 State Attorneys General earlier this month, expressed support for this approach. The text of the Declaratory Ruling has not been published yet.
The FCC’s move reflects its commitment to addressing the deceptive and manipulative marketing tactics associated with AI in robocalls, ensuring consumers have the ability to provide prior written consent before receiving calls featuring AI technology as a live agent.
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