FCC outlaws AI voices in robocall fraud
The Federal Communications Commission has declared the use of AI-generated voices in scam robocalls illegal, with immediate effect.
Why it matters: Generative AI ismaking voice scams easier to believe and unsolicited robocalls have been used to "extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities, and misinform voters," per the FCC.
Details: In a unanimous ruling, the FCC declared that calls made with AI-generated voices are "artificial" under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
- While using AI to perpetrate a scam or fraud was already illegal, now using AI to generate voices in such calls is itself illegal.
- A bipartisan coalition of 26 state attorneys general wrote to the FCC supporting the change.
The big picture: President Joe Biden was the victim of an AI-generated fake robocall in January — the first of what experts expect to be a flood of 2024 election scams.
By the numbers: Americans are subject to more than 4 billion robocalls per month, according to an index maintained by YouMail.
- The FCC already works with 48 states — all but Georgia and Nebraska — to catch what it says is an increasing number of robocall scammers.
What's next: State Attorneys General now have additional ways to crack down on bad actors, and "ensure the public is protected from fraud and misinformation," the FCC said in a statement.
What they're saying: "Bad actors are using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities, and misinform voters. We're putting the fraudsters behind these robocalls on notice," said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.