Despite AI robocalls existing for some time, the FCC has only just officially declared them definitely illegal

 AI voice.
AI voice.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has declared AI-generated voices are ‘artificial’, which now officially means they are illegal to use in the context of automated voice calls.

While this doesn’t mean the pre-recorded audio you hear saying that “your call is very important to us” when contacting customer support is a thing of the past, it will help prosecute automated calling scams that impersonate the likes of US President Joe Biden.

It may seem that this designation is long overdue, but designating something as illegal is a process that necessarily takes much time and deliberation before a final decision is made

Expect a rise as we approach elections

The designation of AI-generated voices as artificial could not come soon enough as US local and national elections approach.

In order for authorities to begin prosecuting the perpetrators behind the scams advertised by robocalls, they need to have a reasonable amount of suspicion that a crime has taken place. Now, if a call uses a pre-recorded or live AI-generated impersonation then makes the entire prosecution process much easier.

In a press release, FCC Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, said “That’s why the FCC is taking steps to recognize this emerging technology as illegal under existing law, giving our partners at State Attorneys General offices across the country new tools they can use to crack down on these scams and protect consumers.”

The rate at which new AI technologies are emerging is argued by some experts to be outstripping our ability to regulate them, but this latest designation is a step in the right direction alongside other AI regulations being laid out worldwide.

While it isn’t perfect and there will be some additional legal patchwork done later on, it will help combat crimes such as the “deepfake CFO” call that recently cost a company millions of dollars.

More from TechRadar Pro