GMA Network will introduce the country’s first artificial intelligence (AI)-generated sportscasters on its flagship sports program, GMA Sports Center.
The AI sportscasters, named Maia and Marco, were developed using Image Generation, Text-to-Speech AI Voice Synthesis/Generation, and Deep Learning Face Animation Technology.
The AI duo will make their first appearance today, September 24, 2023, during the opening ceremony of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 99, live from the Mall of Asia Arena with simulcast at 2:00 PM on GMA and GTV.
According to GMA Network, the AI sportscasters are part of its innovation strategy to enhance its content and deliver a more immersive and interactive viewing experience to its audience.
“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. Through this initiative, we continue to fulfill our commitment to providing valuable information and enriching the lives of Filipinos worldwide,” said Oliver Victor B. Amoroso, GMA Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated News, Regional TV, and Synergy.
However, the reception to GMA’s AI sportscasters remains lukewarm. Some netizens have expressed their disapproval and skepticism on social media, questioning the quality, integrity, and ethics of using AI to deliver sports news. They also argued that AI cannot match the human emotion and passion that real sportscasters bring to the game. It remains to be seen whether Maia and Marco will be accepted by their viewers or rejected as artificial journalism.
The AI sportscasters were developed by GMA Network in collaboration with NMI Studios and GMA Synergy. NMI Studios provided the technical support and guidance to help GMA Network create and train the AI models that generate the speech and images of Maia and Marco.