Effective 2/8/24: Use Of AI-Generated Voices Can Violate The TCPA

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | TCPA

Today the FCC issued a ruling that artificial intelligence (“AI”)-generated voice calls can violate the TCPA. This isn’t particularly surprising, as it comes on the heels of FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel recently proposing just that. It also comes just two days after the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau issued a cease-and-desist letter regarding calls to New Hampshire voters that used an imitation of President Biden’s voice.

Per the FCC’s ruling, AI-generated voices are subject to the “artificial and prerecorded voice” subsections of the TCPA.1 Subject to certain exceptions, one violates those subsections by using an “artificial or prerecorded voice” to make a call to a wireless or residential line, without the called party’s consent.

Under the new ruling, the FCC has “confirm[ed] that the TCPA’s restrictions on the use of ‘artificial or prerecorded voice’ encompass current AI technologies that generate human voices.” This ruling also refers to “current AI technologies that resemble human voices and/or generate call content using a prerecorded voice.” The FCC gives “voice cloning” as one such example. So, note the various verbs being used here: “generate,” “resemble,” and “clone.”

Based on this ruling, now one can only make a call using an AI-generated voice and avoid violating the TCPA if the call is made with the called party’s consent (which can get rather specific for telemarketing calls), or an applicable exemption applies, such as those in 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(3). Those calls should also include the required identification-and-disclosure information, and the required opt-out option for prerecorded telemarketing calls.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone on our Telecom and TCPA teams if you have questions about this Ruling.