The Morning After: The FCC wants to make AI-voiced robocalls illegal

AI-generated voices mimicking celebrities and politicians are making it harder for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fight robocalls. FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel wants the commission to recognize calls that use AI-generated voices as artificial, making the use of voice cloning technologies in robocalls illegal.

Under the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), artificial voice or recording calls to residences are against the law. If AI-generated voice calls are recognized as illegal under the existing law, it’ll give state attorneys general offices nationwide “new tools” to crack down on scammers.

The FCC’s proposal comes shortly after some New Hampshire residents received a call impersonating President Joe Biden, telling them not to vote in their state’s primary. A security firm performed a thorough analysis of the call and determined it was created using AI tools by a startup called ElevenLabs. The company subsequently banned the account responsible for the message.

— Mat Smith

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