Robocalls, AI, & The FCC

One new challenge with technological advancements is the increase in robocalls, which have become a source of litigation and legal precedents. With the rapid introduction and evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI), these calls have taken on a new dimension, making distinguishing between a genuine call and a potential scam harder than ever. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recognized the severity of this issue and has taken action to combat these technologically advanced threats. Their recent ruling on the topic marks a significant development in the ongoing battle against robocall fraud.

The FCC & Robocalls

Simply put, the FCC has recently taken a stand against unwanted robocalls that use cloned voices developed with AI. This decision aims to protect consumers from robocall scams by banning voice-cloning technology. The FCC’s action underscores their concern on this issue, as AI-generated voices can now mimic celebrities or even family members, leading to increased confusion and potential fraud. The ruling was made effective immediately, declaring AI-generated voices as “artificial” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). 

This is a response to the escalation of calls that use technology to imitate familiar voices, further complicating the detection of scams. FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel highlighted the misuse of AI in making unsolicited calls for extortion, celebrity impersonation, and voter misinformation. The unanimous decision reflects a rapid response to the growing concern over AI’s role in robocalls. State attorneys general now possess enhanced capabilities to tackle these scams head-on, aiming to safeguard the public from fraud and misinformation.

What It Means 

The FCC’s ruling is clear and direct: AI-generated voices are considered “artificial” under the TCPA. This means that using AI to make voice calls requires prior express consent from the recipient. However, this does not mean all AI-generated calls are illegal. Instead, it emphasizes the need for consent, aligning AI voice calls with the already-existing requirements for robocalls. This ruling is an essential step in ensuring that technological advancements are not used to circumvent the laws designed to protect consumers from unwanted solicitation and potential scams. 

The ruling does not enact a blanket ban on all AI-generated calls but clarifies their classification under existing law. Consent is now clearly a prerequisite for these calls, mirroring the consent required for other forms of robocalling. Industry leaders have welcomed this clarification, seeing it as a measure to protect consumers while acknowledging the legitimate use of AI in communications. This legal clarification ensures that AI-generated calls are held to the same standards as traditional robocalls, maintaining consumer protection. It represents a balanced approach to innovation and consumer rights, ensuring that technology serves the public without compromising safety and privacy.

Cove Law

If your telemarketing company has concerns about compliance with the FCC’s new regulations on AI-generated calls, we are here to help. Navigating these regulations can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Schedule a free consultation so we can assist you in protecting your rights and ensuring compliance with current laws.

Andrew Cove
Latest posts by Andrew Cove (see all)