GMA News recently introduced Maia and Marco, the Philippines’ inaugural AI sportscasters, in a groundbreaking social media announcement. These bilingual AI presenters proficiently communicate in both English and Tagalog, crafted using Image Generation, Text-to-Speech AI Voice Synthesis/Generation, and Deep Learning Face Animation techniques. The dynamic duo made their debut as part of the broadcast crew for NCAA Season 99, marking a pioneering moment in sports broadcasting in the Philippines.

In a groundbreaking move that has both piqued curiosity and ignited spirited debates, GMA 7 has unveiled its pioneering decision to introduce AI-generated “sportscasters” into its sports news presentations. This innovative initiative, christened as Maia and Marco, harnesses the power of Image Generation, Text-to-Speech AI Voice Synthesis/Generation, and Deep Learning Face Animation technologies to inject a fresh and dynamic perspective into the realm of sports reporting. These AI presenters possess bilingual fluency in both English and Tagalog and flaunt striking visual features that rival those of local celebrities and mixed-race beauty icons.


GMA News introduced Maia and Marco as the Philippines’ inaugural AI sportscasters in a social media announcement last Saturday. GMA proudly disclosed that these AI presenters were crafted using Image Generation, Text-to-Speech AI Voice Synthesis/Generation, and Deep Learning Face Animation technologies. Remarkably, these bilingual AI personalities fluently converse in both English and Tagalog and boast features that could easily be mistaken for those of a local celebrity and a multiracial beauty queen.

The official debut of Maia and Marco took place during the opening day of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 99 games, which were broadcasted on GMA. They joined a team of 12 “human” courtside reporters, collectively covering the country’s inaugural athletic collegiate league.

Maia and Marco are scheduled to make regular appearances on GMA Integrated News’ digital media platforms, including GMA Sports and GMA Synergy, four times a month, thanks to the collaboration with GMA New Media, Inc. (NMI). This concerted effort aims to usher in a “new dimension” to sports coverage.


Oliver Victor Amoroso, GMA’s Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated News, Regional TV, and Synergy, stands fifth from the left in a group photo alongside the NCAA’s freshly appointed courtside reporters.

Oliver Victor B. Amoroso, the Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated News, Regional TV, and Synergy at GMA, emphatically underlined the network’s unwavering commitment to journalistic innovation. He expressed GMA’s readiness to embrace emerging technologies in order to remain at the forefront of the media industry, providing a contemporary and engaging sports news experience to its audience. Amoroso stated, “Through this initiative, we continue to fulfill our commitment to providing valuable information and enriching the lives of Filipinos worldwide.”

Nevertheless, this initiative has sparked a robust online discourse, igniting a spirited debate about the future of journalism and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the media sector.

Critics have voiced their concerns in the comments section of GMA News’ Facebook announcement, which has garnered over 100,000 reactions at the time of writing. They argue that AI-generated sportscasters may lack the emotional depth and human elements of excitement and passion associated with human sports journalists. Moreover, there are apprehensions about potential job displacement for both current and aspiring journalists.

Captured in the photos are Kapuso celebrities, including Alden Richards and Julie Ann San Jose, making a prominent appearance at the opening ceremony of NCAA Season 99, held at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena. This exciting season features the participation of ten member schools, spearheaded by host institution Jose Rizal University.

Several television personalities have also taken to social media to express their thoughts on the matter. Host KC Montero humorously commented on X (formerly Twitter), “Welp, there goes my job.” Meanwhile, Mark Zambrano, on his Facebook page, expressed his concern, stating that while this initiative adds aesthetic appeal as a novelty, the heart and soul in sports broadcasting are invaluable in delivering the best experience to viewers.

Captured in the photos are Kapuso celebrities, including Alden Richards and Julie Ann San Jose, making a prominent appearance at the opening ceremony of NCAA Season 99, held at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.

GMA News executives have sought to alleviate these concerns by asserting that they have no intention of replacing journalists, including analysts and commentators, with AI integration.

Amoroso exclusively told The Philippine STAR, “The special participation of our AI Sportscasters is just part of the exciting plans we have for NCAA Season 99. Maia and Marco were introduced to complement, not replace, the human aspect of our coverage.” He emphasized that they are AI presenters, not journalists, and they cannot replace the seasoned broadcasters and colleagues who form the core of the organization. While embracing innovation, GMA also values training and upskilling its employees to empower them in the age of AI.

He further mentioned that they respect the opinions on this initiative and welcome the discussions it has ignited not only among media professionals but also the general public. “We, after all, need to talk about AI, which is making its presence felt in journalism and other professions.”

The network underscores that AI serves as a “tool” for more creative storytelling and as an “added feature” for sports presentation. The AI presenters and the “tidbits of information” they provide are still managed by sports news producers.

Additional statements from other executives shed light on this innovative feature. Ramil Escarda from NMI clarified, “The creation of AI sportscasters isn’t meant to replace human reporters but rather to serve as an innovative platform for presenting information to the viewer. Finding creative ways to deliver news and tell compelling stories is the driving force behind GMA Network’s digital transformation and future-proofing efforts.”

Aileen Rae Perez, the network’s Head of Social for Current Affairs, added, “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 emphasized their goal to develop a better way of delivering information that aligns with evolving audience preferences. Rather than viewing creativity and innovation as a threat, they hope this initiative will spark a constructive discourse on how generative AI can enhance modern journalism.

Captured in the photos are Kapuso celebrities, including Alden Richards and Julie Ann San Jose, making a prominent appearance at the opening ceremony of NCAA Season 99, held at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.

While GMA has not indicated whether it will employ generative AI for hard news or other programs, fellow members of the press and the public are expected to monitor this development closely to see if this pioneering venture will establish a new standard for sports coverage and potentially lead to improved ratings.

Notably, GMA can now claim the distinction of being the first network in the Philippines to introduce AI-generated presenters, although international media organizations have already explored this technology for their newsroom operations.

In 2018, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency introduced the world’s first AI news anchor. In November 2020, South Korea’s cable channel MBN became the first broadcaster to feature an AI announcer modeled after a real-life anchor. In India, Aaj Tak News Channel, Odisha TV, and Kannada channel Power TV have reportedly utilized AI-powered presenters.

From neighboring Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia’s broadcast channel Astro Awani unveiled two multilingual AI news presenters, Joon and Monica, in May, while Indonesia’s TVOne used AI technology to create “news readers” Nadira and Sasya in April.