Rosenworcel Calls for AI Report Involving Calls and Texts

The FCC chairwoman requested the report during the Consumer Advisory Committee meeting Thursday.

Rosenworcel Calls for AI Report Involving Calls and Texts
Photo of FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

WASHINGTON April 4, 2024 – Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Thursday called on the Consumer Advisory Committee to compile a report on the uses of artificial intelligence in robocalls and texts. 

“The Commission requests that the CAC create a working group and issue a report, focused on examining the uses of AI in calls and text,” Rosenworcel said during a Thursday CAC meeting, speaking for the FCC. 

“So here’s a few things we’d like for you to work on in that report: We’d like to hear about ways we can prevent AI from being used by bad actors, and ask that you recommend ways to use AI to protect consumers, and ensure people with disabilities can still use the AI technologies they need to make calls and send texts,” she added. 

Rosenworcel said the proliferation of AI in telecommunications poses a substantial threat to consumer safety. 

The chairwoman called artificial intelligence “the most cutting edge topic of them all” and said the technology presents both “opportunities and challenges” in combating robocalls. 

Rosenworcel touted the “ground work” the FCC has done to address the issue of AI in robocalls, giving the CAC a “head start.” She says that the agency began looking into the matter after receiving a notice of inquiry from November 2023, examining how AI in robocalls could impact the current regulatory landscape and potentially increase “unwanted and illegal calls and texts.”

In February, on the heels of AI-powered robocalls that attempted to influence the New Hampshire Primary using a simulation of President Joe Biden’s voice, the agency adopted a “declaratory ruling,” granting authorization to legally prosecute those who utilize “voice cloning scams” with the intent to defraud. The move does not ban AI voice generative technology in any federal context outside of robocalls.

Lawmakers have sought to further regulate the usage of AI in hopes of mitigating the risks of the technology. 

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill to ban the use of AI to mimic federal candidates in political ads with the goal of influencing federal elections. During his March State of the Union Address, President Joe Biden called on congress to, “ban AI voice impersonations.”

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