artificial intelligence

No AI sportscasters in the UAAP, for now

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No AI sportscasters in the UAAP, for now

ALL SET. UAAP coaches pose for posterity just days before Season 86 tips off.


Just days after GMA unveiled its AI sportscasters in the NCAA, rival UAAP and broadcast partner Cignal say they’re still ‘exploring’ and ‘carefully studying’ the use of lifelike bots

MANILA, Philippines – The UAAP and broadcast partner Cignal won’t jump in to artificial intelligence (AI) just yet even as rival collegiate league NCAA and TV giant GMA recently unveiled lifelike bot sportscasters in the men’s basketball tournament. 

Mico Halili, Cignal TV’s creative director for sports programs on television, said the network is still “exploring” the use of AI in its UAAP Season 86 programming.   

Last week, GMA introduced AI sportscasters Maia and Marco, who debuted in NCAA’s Saturday opener at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“We’re exploring, studying, carefully studying,” said Halili when asked about the potential use of AI in its sports programming during the UAAP press conference on Wednesday, September 28.

Halili pointed out that the use of AI technology has been prevalent in international media. 

“Every media organization, media channel, publisher all over the world currently, is really carefully studying and exploring all the applications of AI,” said Halili, who’s also the digital properties head of Cignal TV. 

“No one is exempted from this. This is an emergent technology [and] has a lot of benefits.”

The NCAA and GMA’s introduction of AI sportscasters immediately drew backlash online even as they billed it as a “groundbreaking initiative.”

“This is unsettling,” one social media user commented. “There are countless skilled humans capable of performing brilliantly in those tasks.”

Halili emphasized that the integration of AI, in front or behind the camera, remains in its early stages, at least in the local scene.

“It’s a trial and discovery period for everybody,” he said. “AI has many applications that pertains not just on-camera work but also behind the scenes, so a lot of media organizations are looking into it to see how we call improve the experience.” – Rob Andrew L. Dongiapon/

Rob Andrew L. Dongiapon is a Rappler intern.

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