GMA Network has taken a bold step towards embracing artificial intelligence (AI) integration into everyday media production, introducing AI sportscasters for the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament set to kick off on Sunday, September 24.
The announcement, made just a day before the tournament’s commencement, aims to signal GMA Network’s commitment to inclusivity and innovation in journalism through the deployment of AI sportscasters. However, the reaction on social media has been less than welcoming, with many users expressing concerns and disappointment about this initiative.
Critics argue that this development does not promote inclusivity but rather replaces human professionals with AI entities.
Prominent Kapatid news anchor Kaladkaren commented, “Shet. Basta kay Tito Mikee pa rin ako,” referencing her colleague Mikee Reyes in ‘Frontline Pilipinas.’
Shet. Basta kay Tito Mikee pa rin ako https://t.co/nzD3cQ2tIk
— KaladKaren (@jervijervi) September 23, 2023
Weather reporter Ariel Rojas shared a 2020 IBM article on AI replacing broadcast meteorologists and quoted, “‘Magrid research: 58% of viewers still want a meteorologist to provide context, explain details, & provide engaging human interactions.'”
With GMA-7 introducing AI sportscasters, I’m sharing this 2020 IBM article on AI replacing broadcast meteorologists.
“Magrid research: 58% of viewers still want a meteorologist to provide context, explain details, & provide engaging human interactions.“https://t.co/9AZhdNatPv
— Ariel Rojas (@arielrojasPH) September 23, 2023
Respected Kapamilya journalist Tony Velasquez acknowledged the increasing use of AI in news delivery but expressed greater concern about the “Pseudo Intelligence” exhibited by politicians in power.
Mainit na usapin ngayon ang paggamit ng artificial intelligence (AI) sa paghatid ng balita, lalo na sa TV news. Pero mas nakakabahala sa akin noonpaman, ang PI… Pseudo Intelligence… ng mga pulitikong nakaupo sa pwesto.
— Tony Velasquez (@KakanTuring) September 24, 2023
Former Kapuso journalist Michael Fajatin questioned the relatability of viewers to AI, emphasizing that AI lacks the capacity to make human-like errors.
Kung AI na ang mga host mo paano ka pa tatawa kundi na nagkakamali, nag eexcuse me po, dumadagsa ng tae at kung ano ano pa na nakaka-relate ka na tao lang din ang humaharap sayo na maaaring pagkatiwalaan dahil natutulog din at nagugutom tulad mo ang nagbabalita?
— michael fajatin (@michaelfajatin) September 24, 2023
Rappler columnist JC Punongbayan remarked, “Like it or not, it’s just a matter of time before AI takes over jobs like this (and many more).”
Like it or not, it’s just a matter of time before AI takes over jobs like this (and many more). https://t.co/gQLzuKQ79b
— JC Punongbayan, PhD (@jcpunongbayan) September 24, 2023
Paolo Cootauco highlighted the undervaluation of sports journalists, prompting reflection on their contributions.
Di naman masisisi GMA to pioneer AI sportscaster. This means sobrang undervalued ang mga sports journo (journalism in general na’rin) to the point na need ng AI to fill that gap. Pero it’s amazing how technology advances, but, let’s use this tech for good!
— Paolo Cootauco (@itchcootauco) September 23, 2023
GMA Network’s introduction of AI ‘sportscasters’ reflects a growing trend in the media industry experimenting with AI reporters. Other media outlets have also incorporated AI, including Channel 24’s Aparajita, an unnamed weather presenter for FTV News, Kuwait News’ Fedha, and more.
This development raises ethical concerns, as AI presenters have been prone to mishaps, such as Livedoor’s 24/7 AI news reader facing issues shortly after launch.
Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated News, Regional TV, and Synergy, Oliver Victor B. Amoroso, stated, “The introduction of the first AI sportscasters by GMA Integrated News is a groundbreaking initiative that significantly impacts our objective of ‘Mas malaking misyon, mas malawak na paglilingkod sa bayan.’ GMAIN’s adoption of AI technology also demonstrates our commitment to innovation in journalism. We embrace emerging technologies to stay at the forefront of the media industry by providing our audience with a modern and engaging sports news experience.”
The AI sportscasters, named Maia and Marco, are expected to make their debut during the NCAA Season 99 opening ceremony at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, 2 pm.