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Attorney General Stein Urges Federal Government to Restrict AI in Telemarketing

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, January 18, 2024

Contact:
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein asked the federal government to restrict telemarketers from using artificial intelligence because of the potential harm it might cause.

“One of the risks of artificial intelligence is that it gives scam callers a new tool to barrage North Carolinians with robocalls,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We need fewer, not more, robocalls. I’m urging the federal government to take artificial intelligence out of scam callers’ playbooks.”

Robocalls are typically made using an artificial or prerecorded voice. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, these robocalls are generally prohibited unless the caller gets prior express written consent from the person they are calling. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, Attorney General Stein said marketers who want to use artificial intelligence to impersonate a human voice should be required to follow the current law with respect to artificial voices and obtain the same written consent from consumers.

Attorney General Stein has been leading nationwide efforts to reduce the number of robocalls that bombard people in the United States. He’s also led efforts to encourage Congress to consider how artificial intelligence might harm people, especially children. In September, he led a bipartisan coalition of 54 attorneys general urging Congress to study and pass legislation to protect children from exploitation through artificial intelligence. He’s also urged the federal government to ensure artificial intelligence technology is used responsibly and subject to government oversight and enforcement in high-risk situations.

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

A copy of the letter is available here.

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