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Brandon Thompson has experience working closely with various bureaus, trade associations, and businesses to interpret and enforce the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), Truth in Caller ID Act, TRACED Act, and other rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He has coordinated with state attorneys general, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on numerous federal enforcement actions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-generated robocalls may trick some consumers into thinking they are being called by a human being, but the Federal Communications Commission clarified in a recent AI Declaratory Ruling that it will not be fooled. Moving forward, all AI-generated robocalls will be treated as artificial or prerecorded voice calls for purposes of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and will require a called party’s prior express consent. The AI Declaratory Ruling reflects a first step by the FCC in crafting a new record on AI’s implications for consumers’ rights under the TCPA. That record began last November when the FCC released an AI-focused Notice of Inquiry (NOI), which sought industry and stakeholder comments on the potential benefits and risks of AI for consumers. By confirming that AI technologies used in robocalls are artificial or prerecorded voice calls under the TCPA, the FCC hopes to stem the rapid proliferation of AI-generated robocall scams, including popular “deep-fake” or voice cloning scams that solicit money by mimicking the voices of popular celebrities or even family members.
 
Admittedly, the FCC’s conclusion that AI-generated voice calls are “artificial” seems, at face value, axiomatic. But prior to the AI Declaratory Ruling, there was at least a colorable argument that AI-generated human-sounding voices capable of engaging in a live, interactive conversation was sufficient to qualify for the TCPA’s longstanding prior consent exception for live calls from human beings. That theory has been shut down, at least under current AI technologies. Continue Reading FCC Declares AI-Generated Robocalls Unlawful