ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – In an era where technological innovation continues to accelerate, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool with the potential to revolutionize numerous sectors, including communication and healthcare. However, the rapid advancement of AI technologies, particularly voice cloning, has raised significant concerns regarding privacy, security, and the potential for misuse. Recognizing these challenges, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed new rules aimed at curbing the fraudulent use of AI voice impersonation, sparking a vital discussion on balancing innovation with consumer protection. The American Consumer Institute (ACI), a leading advocate for consumer rights, has entered this crucial debate with its submission to the FTC, highlighting the complexities and proposing nuanced solutions to ensure the benefits of AI can be harnessed without compromising individual security and privacy.

Read ACI’s full comment here.

Key Takeaways from ACI’s Submission:

  • Consumer Losses: Acknowledgment of significant losses due to AI voice impersonation scams, with the FTC reporting victims suffering up to $4.6 billion in damages.
  • Balanced Enforcement: Stresses the importance of enforcement actions that penalize fraudulent use without stifling legitimate technological applications.
  • Clarification Needed: Calls for clearer definitions within the FTC’s rule to prevent unintended consequences that may impact developers of general-purpose AI technologies.
  • Legal Precedents: Cites recent court cases that may influence the interpretation of liability concerning the misuse of AI technologies.
  • Assistive Technologies: Highlights the beneficial use of AI voice cloning for individuals with speech disabilities, emphasizing the need to protect these innovations.

In its comments, ACI firmly supports the FTC’s efforts to combat fraud but emphasizes the crucial need for rulemaking that does not inadvertently harm law-abiding developers and users of AI voice technologies. The ACI urges the FTC to consider a rule that differentiates between the creators of AI products and the individuals who choose to use them unlawfully. By honing in on the latter, the FTC can effectively address the wrongdoers while safeguarding valuable assistive technologies that enhance the lives of those with disabilities.

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The American Consumer Institute is a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit www.TheAmericanConsumer.Org or follow us on X @ConsumerPal.