Attorney General Mayes Urges FCC to Regulate Usage of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Phone Calls

PHOENIX— Attorney General Kris Mayes last week joined a coalition of 26 states in sending a letter to the Federal Communications Commission emphasizing the potential harm in the use of artificial intelligence by telemarketers and asking the federal government to strongly restrict such usage.

“With technology constantly evolving, our regulations must evolve alongside to protect consumers,” said Attorney General Mayes. “Artificial intelligence should not be used to blur the lines between human and automated interactions in marketing calls. Any use of A.I. that mimics human conversation in telemarketing must be done transparently and adhere to the same regulations that govern traditional marketing calls.”

In November, the FCC posted a Notice of Inquiry, requesting input on the implications and usage of A.I. technology in consumer communications and how the technology fits under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Specifically, the FCC inquired about the potential ability of A.I. technologies to act as the functional equivalent of a live agent.

Pursuant to the TCPA, robocalls are those calls made using an artificial or prerecorded voice. Such calls are generally prohibited unless the calling party obtains the prior express written consent of the consumer. 

Attorney General Mayes joined the comment letter to the FCC, saying marketers wanting to use A.I. to impersonate a human voice should be required to follow the TCPA’s rules and regulations with respect to “artificial voices,” including obtaining the prior express written consent from consumer targets.

Attorney General Mayes is joined in sending the comment letter by the Attorneys General for Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington.