FCC rules that consent is required for AI-generated voices in outbound calls

The Federal Communications Commission today issued a declaratory ruling concluding that speech generated by artificial intelligence falls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s restriction on telephone calls using an “artificial or prerecorded voice” and therefore requires the prior express consent of the called party to initiate such calls, other than for an emergency or other exemption.

In a unanimous vote, the commission ruled that AI technologies such as “voice cloning” fall within the TCPA’s existing restriction on artificial or prerecorded voice messages because the technology artificially simulates a human voice. It also noted that in every case where the artificial or prerecorded voice message includes or introduces an advertisement or constitutes telemarketing, the call must also offer opt-out methods for the called party to request to stop calling that telephone number. “These requirements are applicable to any AI technology that initiates any outbound telephone call using an artificial or prerecorded voice to consumers,” the commission said.