FCC Chair Pitches Proposal for Combatting Robocalls Using Artificial Intelligence

The latest step in the agency’s efforts to curb scam calls will kick off this week, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said.

FCC Chair Pitches Proposal for Combatting Robocalls Using Artificial Intelligence
Screenshot of the AARP fireside chat.

WASHINGTON, October 23, 2023 – The head of the Federal Communications Commission is set to introduce a proposal this week about using artificial intelligence to combat robocalls and robotexts, she said.

Jessica Rosenworcel will be circulating a proposal to get comments on using AI and machine learning to detect fraud, she said on Monday at a fireside chat with AARP policy heads.

AI could be used to detect patterns that indicate potential fraud and “cut those bad actors responsible for robocalls and robotexts off before they ever reach you,” she said.

The proposed inquiry would also seek comment on ways of combating AI-assisted fraud.

Older Americans are especially at risk of losing money to scam phone calls because they are more likely to be isolated, said AARP Texas State Director Tina Tran.

“They want to answer the phone because they want to talk to someone,” she said. “Scammers know this and they really take advantage of it.”

The proposal will be voted on at the commission’s November 15 open meeting. If approved, it will be part of a broader commission effort to combat scam calls and texts.

“This year alone, we’ve issued more than $500 million in fines” for scam calls and texts, Rosenworcel said.

Most recently, the FCC moved last week to block calls from 20 companies that did not submit adequate robocall policies, in some cases filing blank pages and miscellaneous images instead of fraud prevention plans. If those voice providers do not submit updated plans, they will be removed from the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database, meaning other providers must deny their traffic.

The commission also extended in August its STIR/SHAKEN requirements – measures to confirm the identity of callers – to all providers who handle voice traffic.

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