FCC aims to outlaw AI robocall junk.

TLDR: The FCC is planning to criminalize AI-powered robocall spam. The use of machine-learning software in robocall scams has become prevalent, with scammers using AI voice cloning technology to deceive and manipulate consumers. The FCC believes that these practices should be illegal under existing law and is taking steps to crack down on these scams. Lawmakers are also working to address the issue, with a bill introduced that would require telemarketers to disclose the use of AI in crafting messages. Government officials across the US support the FCC’s efforts to protect consumers from AI robocall spam.

The FCC wants to make AI-powered robocalls illegal and has warned of a rising wave of scams from voice-cloning technology. On Thursday, Jessica Rosenworcel, boss of America’s communications watchdog, said machine-learning software could potentially convince people to do things like donating money to fraudulent causes. It’s one thing for humans to con other humans, it’s another for computers to imitate celebrities and others while spam-calling people at an industrial scale to swindle them with convincing lures.

The agency believes the use of AI voice cloning technology in robocall scams should be criminalized under the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Current laws require telemarketers to have explicit consent from consumers before they can make automated calls using “an artificial or prerecorded” voice. Rosenworcel believes the same rules should apply for AI-generated robo-calls too.

Lawmakers also want to tackle the issue. House Rep Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ) this week introduced a bill, called the Do Not Disturb Act, that would require telemarketers to disclose whether AI has been used to automatically craft a message used in a text message or phone call. Penalties would apply if telemarketers impersonate someone.

Government officials across the US support the FCC’s ideas. Last month, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Michelle Henry wrote a letter to the FCC and said that AI-generated voices should be classified as artificial voices, meaning that the TCPA should already protect against robocall scams made using voice cloning technologies. The letter was signed by 25 attorneys general from other states.