US Bans AI-Powered Voice Robocalls: Here’s Why.

AP Photo/Jamie Stengel. The Dallas-area strip mall office of the polling company TextToSurvey is also the office of Life Corporation, which authorities say was the source of a robocall imitating President Biden. Both companies are tied to serial entrepreneur Walter Monk.
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The US has banned AI-generated robocalls amid a rise in the voice cloning incidents that have scammed thousands of citizens in the country.

The move comes after a fake robocall imitating President Joe Biden sought to dissuade people from voting for him in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary election.

Misleading audio and visuals created using artificial intelligence aren’t new, but recent advancements in AI technology have made them easier to create and harder to detect.

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

“Voice cloning,” the FCC said, “can convince a called party that a trusted person, or someone they care about such as a family member, wants or needs them to take some action that they would not otherwise take,” the statement added.

The move comes after a fake robocall imitating President Joe Biden sought to dissuade people from voting for him in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary election.

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said Tuesday that investigators have identified the source of the calls as Life Corporation and that the calls were transmitted by a company called Lingo Telecom.

New Hampshire issued cease-and-desist orders and subpoenas to both companies, while the Federal Communications Commission issued a cease-and-desist letter to the telecommunications company, Formella said. In a statement, the FCC said it was trying to stop “behavior that violates voter suppression laws.”

During a news conference to discuss the investigation, Formella described the calls as the clearest and possibly first known attempt to use AI to interfere with an election in the U.S. He noted that the calls went well beyond the political fliers that have landed in voters’ mailboxes during past elections.

“The use of generative AI has brought a fresh threat to voter suppression schemes and the campaign season with the heightened believability of fake robocalls,” FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said.

The ruling, which goes into effect immediately, allows the regulator to fine companies that use AI-generated voices in their calls or restrict the service providers that carry them.

Source: NDTV, Reuters.
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