GMA Just Introduced Their AI Sportscasters Maia and Marco, and Many Pinoys Aren’t Impressed
Sep 25, 2023   •   Kyzia Maramara
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Sep 25, 2023   •   Kyzia Maramara
ICYMI, GMA News launched its first artificial intelligence (AI) sportscasters ahead of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 99. Kapuso AI sportscasters Maia and Marco will be reporting on the biggest NCAA Season 99 news plus “updates on local and international sports featuring Filipino athletes on the social media platforms of GMAIN, GMA Sports, and GMA Synergy.” While this is an interesting step towards the future of sports broadcasting, many Pinoys online can’t help but criticize it.
GMA News uploaded a short video giving everyone a first look at Maia and Marco. The AI sportscasters greeted its viewers and invited everyone to watch their exclusives “using cutting edge advancements in generative AI.” Maia and Marco also showcased their Tagalog skills, proving that they can cater to every Filipino viewer.
Some Pinoys lauded the network’s “great innovation.” But while Maia and Marco are proof that the Philippines is more than capable of keeping up with technology, these sportscasters sparked conversations on how AI will be used in the media.
“You can save money from this. However, this can never replace the passion and dedication “human” reporters can give to journalism. AI is a good tool if used cautiously. But this thing is a threat or a creative destruction in the journalism industry,” said one comment.
Many pointed out that both AI sportscasters sound robotic, as if you’re listening to voice-controlled assistants like Siri or Alexa.
“Maganda at pogi ang itsura, pero walang dating para sakin ang bitaw ng mga linya. Mas masarap parin panuorin mga totoong tao ang gumagawa nyan, may real emotion. Just saying,” said another.
“AI does not display natural emotions and feels at all. That’s so alarming,” said one.
Meanwhile, others are more concerned for the jobs AI will inevitably take over if Maia and Marco prove to be a success.
“So in the near future mawawala na rin ba ang mga news anchor? Di ko alam kung matutuwa ba ako sa innovation na to or hindi possible madami mawalan talaga ng work sa AI,” said one Facebook comment.
“The disadvantage ng masyadong dinedepende sa teknolohiya is that yung mga trabaho that are supposed to be for real people are too reliant on technology,” said another.
While we humans learn to use technology to benefit every aspect of our lives for the better, sometimes it works a little too well that it creates a disadvantage for us too. In 2017, research company McKinsey Global Institute reported that AI will replace up to 800 million jobs come 2030. The World Economic Fund (WEF) also did a survey in 2020 involving 300 global companies and found out that AI has taken over 42% of current tasks in the workplace.
The statistics are alarming and with Maia and Marco’s presence in Philippine media, aspiring sportscasters and Mass Communication students are starting to see the inevitable.
“Wow. What a way to indirectly discourage Mass Com students,” read one comment.
“As Communication Graduate, nakakalungkot at nakakabahala ito. Isa ito sa madilim na bahagi ng innovation at technology at maging sa mga mag-aaral sa larangan ng pamamahayag. Hold the line, folks,” said one comment.
“I really don’t see this as ‘inclusivity.’ I get that journalism has embraced the fast-changing world but not all trends should be hyped like this. There are far more talented people out there that can perfectly fit this job,” said another.
“I don’t think this is something that the human race will be happy & enthusiastic about. This is in fact a sad day for all of us. Technology is slowly replacing humans in all fields,” said yet another.
It’s normal to feel alarmed about these new developments, especially if it looks like a threat to job security. But WEF researchers also reported that while millions of humans could lose their jobs to AI, “the AI revolution will create 97 million new jobs, with roles in data, artificial intelligence, content creation and cloud computing.” The future, it seems, looks like a division of labor between man and machine.
What do you think of GMA News and its new AI sportscasters? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.
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