Yesterday, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced that she will be circulating for consideration to her fellow commissioners a proposed Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) that will seek to develop a public record on how artificial intelligence capabilities may be affecting the proliferation of illegal robocalls and texts, and what tools may be available to address this challenge. The FCC’s commissioners are expected to consider whether to adopt this NOI at the agency’s next open meeting on November 15, 2023.
The press release announcing this development noted that the NOI will seek comment on a range of issues, including whether and how the regulation of AI technologies fits within the FCC’s statutory authority under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The press release also suggested that while AI technologies can pose new privacy and safety challenges to consumers due to their ability to mimic real human voices to perpetuate fraud, these technologies also have the potential to expand and refine the analytical tools needed to identify and block fraudulent transmissions.
Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s proposal follows on the heels of other steps the FCC has taken to prevent illegal robocalls and examine whether additional steps should be taken to mitigate illegal text message transmissions. The FCC also has increasingly been focusing its attention on ways in which AI can affect the industries and services it regulates. For instance, earlier this year it co-hosted a half-day workshop with the National Science Foundation on the opportunities AI may present for spectrum management and network resiliency, among other areas.