Artificial Intelligence (AI) and AI-generated content, such as AI-generated images and AI-generated voices, continue to generate discussion.

There is no doubt that AI can deliver numerous benefits, such as increased accessibility, improved social interactions, and enhanced efficiency across various sectors. However, along with these advantages, we are also experiencing a rise in concerns related to privacy, ethical considerations, and potential legal disputes.

In a previous article, we delved into the concerns regarding AI-generated artwork. In this article, we turn our attention to the legal considerations surrounding AI-generated voices in Scotland. As this technology continues to evolve, questions regarding its legality have started to emerge. Are AI-generated voices legal?

What are AI-generated voices?

AI-generated voices, also referred to as voice cloning or synthetic speech or text-to-speech (TTS) technology, are created through advanced computer systems that analyse and replicate human speech patterns. AI-generated voices, in their simplest form, are sounds produced by AI technology.

These artificial voices are frequently heard in self-checkouts at supermarkets, voiceovers in TV ads, and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. However, there can be legal implications associated with their use.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

A primary concern surrounding AI-generated voices, and all forms of AI-generated content, is the potential infringement of copyright and intellectual property rights. AI can be used to replicate the voices of real individuals, including celebrities. The use of these replicated voices without permission could lead to threats of copyright breaches and possible legal action.

Therefore, it is imperative to obtain proper permissions and/or licenses to avoid infringing copyright and other intellectual property rights.

Privacy and Data Protection

In Scotland, data protection is governed by the Data Protection Act 2018, and the retained EU-law version of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which regulates the collection and processing of personal data, including voice recordings.

When training AI-generated voices, for example on real human voices, it is essential that organisations consider potential data protection issues, including identifying whether the recordings will comprise personal data. If the use of the voice recordings constitutes processing of personal data then they should identify a valid legal basis for that processing and provide those individuals with a privacy notice explaining how their personal data will be used. A data protection impact assessment can help with this.

Scottish Legal Framework

The laws governing AI-generated voices are still evolving. Therefore, it is essential to monitor regulatory developments to ensure compliance with emerging laws and regulations.

While Scotland is part of a unified regulatory framework with the rest of the United Kingdom in some areas, including data protection, the Scottish Parliament also has the authority to legislate on certain matters independently. Businesses operating in Scotland should ensure they monitor any specific regulations or guidelines related to, for example, voice cloning that may be enacted in Scotland.

It is worth noting that additional regulations may apply to businesses operating in specific sectors such as healthcare, finance and telecommunications. Therefore, businesses need to keep up to date with the regulations in their specific sector to stay compliant.


The use of AI-generated voices in Scotland brings both innovative possibilities and legal considerations. Staying informed about the relevant laws and regulations is essential to avoid potential legal disputes.


Fiona Chute

Senior Associate

Syma Din

Trainee Solicitor