Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously voted to outlaw robocalls that utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) voice-cloning tools. Long a matter of concern, the issue made national headlines when the technology was utilized to mimic President Biden’s voice in robocalls in the runup to the New Hampshire primary. Those calls are currently under investigation by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office. The FCC ban is effective immediately.
Statement of Ishan Mehta, Common Cause Media & Democracy Program Director
Artificial Intelligence represents a dire threat to our democracy and has repeatedly been misused in an attempt to mislead voters. Today’s FCC vote to ban the use of AI voice-cloning tools is an important step in safeguarding our elections from this danger. The fake robocalls received by voters in New Hampshire represent only the tip of the iceberg. It is critically important that the FCC now use this authority to fine violators and block the telephone companies that carry the calls.
But the FCC ban is only a start to addressing the threat posed to our elections by AI. Other agencies must follow the FCC and Chair Rosenworcel’s lead and do their duty to protect Americans from the harms posed by AI. Congress must act to address this threat as well by enacting legislation to protect American democracy from AI such as the bipartisan Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act. We hope that both the House and the Senate will follow the example of the FCC, whose Democratic and Republican Commissioners recognized the threat posed by AI and came together in a unanimous vote to outlaw robocalls utilizing AI voice-cloning tools.
To read the the FCC ruling, click here.