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FCC cracks down on AI-generated robocalls 

Hands holding phone with seal of US agency Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on screen

FCC cracks down on AI-generated robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission has banned unwanted artificial intelligence-generated robocalls. 

It comes amid growing concerns about the role of such technology in spreading election misinformation and committing consumer fraud.

The FCC's unanimous ruling uses a law that has been in place for 30 years.

It’s designed to limit unsolicited phone calls, now extended to include robocalls made using artificial intelligence

This expansion enhances the capability of states to take legal action against those responsible for these unsolicited calls.

"Bad actors"

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said: “It seems like something from the far-off future, but it is already here.

“Bad actors are using A.I.-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities and misinform voters.”

The decision underscores the reality of AI's capabilities, which have rapidly evolved to mimic human voices and even visual likenesses.

It raises concerns, especially with the upcoming US presidential election.

A notable instance of misuse involved a robocall mimicking President Biden's voice, misleading voters to skip voting in a primary election. 

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This incident led to a criminal investigation of a Texas-based company suspected of orchestrating the robocall.

It is claimed the caller ID was faked to make it seem as if the calls were coming from the former New Hampshire chairwoman of the Democratic Party.

The issue extends beyond robocalls to creating "deep-fake" videos and advertisements that unlawfully use the images and voices of well-known people.

It includes unauthorized and deceptive content featuring celebrities like Tom Hanks and Taylor Swift.

Despite calls from lawmakers to regulate AI-generated deep fakes in political advertising, no substantial legislative action has been taken at the federal level. 

Over a dozen states have passed legislation to restrict the use of AI in political advertisements, addressing the growing concerns about the technology's potential for abuse.

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