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The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
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FCC prohibits AI-generated voices in robocalls to prevent fraudulent calls to voters

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The seal of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seen before an FCC meeting to vote on net neutrality in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017.

The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) adopted a new declaration that prohibits artificial intelligence (AI) voices in robocalls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Before the FCC adopted the new regulation Thursday, state attorneys general could target individuals for the outcome of unwanted AI-voice generated robocalls. However, they could not hold individuals accountable for using AI-generated voices. Now, individual consumers and organizations can sue robocallers under the TCPA, according to the FCC.

“Bad actors are using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities, and misinform voters,” said FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We’re putting the fraudsters behind these robocalls on notice.”

Arlington company under investigation for illegal robocalls

Life Corporation was identified as the source of thousands of AI-generated voice calls impersonating President Joe Biden, according to a press release from the office of New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella.

The Texas-based company called New Hampshire voters two days before the state primary to discourage their participation in the election. The calls used an illegally spoofed caller ID of a former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair, according to the release.

“Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” the call said.

The New Hampshire Department of Justice issued a cease-and-desist letter to Life Corporation on Tuesday, according to the release.

“I think this case is unique in that it is providing us a real-life example of an attempt to use AI to interfere with an election,” Formella said.

The New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General opened a criminal investigation against Life Corporation and a man named Walter Monk. The office is also investigating the potential involvement of other businesses, Formella said.

“We will not tolerate any action that seeks to undermine the integrity of our elections and our democratic process,” Formella said. “The message to any person or company who would attempt to engage in these activities is clear and is simple. Don’t try it.”

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