California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined more than half of his fellow U.S. Attorneys General in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to find that AI-generated speech that sounds like human voice is indeed a form of “artificial voice” that requires express written consumer consent before calling a consumer, pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). A copy of the letter can be found here.
The move comes in response to a Notice of Inquiry from the FCC which asked for comments to help understand the impact of AI on protecting consumers from telephone calls and text messages that are governed by the TCPA. While it may seem obvious that AI-generated speech is still artificial voice for the purpose of TCPA, an official statement on this point from the FCC would help prevent telemarketers and others that use such technology from trying to push the line. However, the challenge continues to be enforcement, particularly when calls using such technology originate outside the United States.