FTC puts out public call to help stop voice cloning robocalls

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The Federal Trade Commission is going after life-like voice calls produced with artificial intelligence in its latest efforts to prevent consumer abuse at the hands of AI systems.

The Federal Trade Commission announced it will be accepting submissions until January 12 for its exploratory Voice Cloning Challenge to help protect U.S. consumers from the growing instances of artificial intelligence-enabled voice cloning calls that can be used to scam and harm individuals. 

FTC officials are looking for multidisciplinary submissions that address relevant policy, product, and procedural components to help inform agency practices in combating generative AI robocalls. 

"We will use every tool to prevent harm to the public stemming from abuses of voice cloning technology,” Samuel Levine, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said in November. “We want to address harms before they hit the marketplace, and enforce the law when they do.”

All submissions should emphasize helping prevent and monitor the nefarious use of voice cloning technologies and include an abstract and written explanation of the submission.

This challenge is part of the FTC’s larger push to investigate the use of AI to deceive and harm consumers. As the prevalence of more generative, human-like systems has increased, the agency voted in November 2023 to streamline probes into AI services over the next decade to help prevent the proliferation of AI abuse.