The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken significant action to combat AI voice-cloned robocalls by declaring them illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.
This decision, effective immediately, is part of the FCC’s efforts to curb AI-aided scam and misinformation campaigns, especially ahead of the 2024 election season.
The ruling was motivated by the use of AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls for purposes such as extortion, impersonation, and voter misinformation.
The new rule went into effect immediately Thursday, days after fake robocalls interfering with last month’s New Hampshire primary were tied to a Texas company and a serial entrepreneur in Arlington.
The calls faked President Biden’s voice, discouraging people from voting in the primary.
Generative AI is making voice scams easier to believe and unsolicited robocalls have been used to “extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities, and misinform voters,” per the FCC.
Violators of this ruling could face substantial penalties. The FCC has set regulatory fines of more than $23,000 per call for those using AI-generated vocal clones in robocalls. Additionally, under the Act, individuals who receive such unwanted calls can recover as much as $1,500 in damages per call, providing a clear legal avenue for victims to take action against violators.
This action underscores the FCC’s commitment to protecting consumers from new threats posed by technological advancements in AI and voice cloning, aiming to ensure that the public is not deceived or harmed by these practices.