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MANILA, Philippines – GMA Network debuted its AI sportscasters at the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament opening day at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, September 24.
At halftime of the tournament’s first game between three-time defending champion Letran and season host JRU, AI sportscasters Maia and Marco flexed their capabilities and fluency in both English and Filipino, mimicking the roles of human reporters.
Watch the brief segment here:
GMA executives defended the use of AI sportscasters amid negative comments on social media, saying that it is a mere “complement” of human media practitioners.
“Maia and Marco are AI presenters, they are not journalists, they can never replace our seasoned broadcasters and colleagues who are the lifeblood of our organization,” GMA Network senior vice president and head of integrated news, regional TV, and synergy Oliver Victor Amoroso told GMA Integrated News.
“As the leading news organization in the Philippines, we will constantly look for ways to hone our craft, while preserving the value of our human assets and the integrity of our reporting.”
GMA still featured human analysts, commentators, and courtside reporters for the entirety of the first NCAA Season 99 basketball game apart from the brief 30-second appearance of Maia and Marco at halftime.
Aileen Rae Perez, assistant vice president and deputy head for GMA Integrated News social media, echoed Amoroso’s statement, saying the appearance of AI sportscasters should encourage discourse on how AI will help journalism.
“Traditional media is now being challenged by creators who are more adept at using AI and technology to deliver their own agenda, which is why now is the perfect time for us to learn and adapt,” she said.
“Our goal is to develop a better way of delivering information to the evolving preference of our audience. Instead of seeing creativity and innovation as a threat, we hope that this initiative will start a healthy discourse on how generative AI could help news organizations improve the way we do modern journalism.”
It now remains to be seen whether GMA remains consistent in its use of generative AI in future NCAA broadcasts, or if other outlets follow suit. – Rappler.com