Baidu will look to stamp its authority in the AI market with the launch of ERNIE Bot. Florence Lo/Reuters

Chinese tech giant Baidu has announced plans to launch their own artificial intelligence chatbot, ERNIE Bot, very shortly in March. It is set to be an alternative to ChatGPT, the US-developed chatbot from OpenAI that launched last November.

However, Baidu's decision to go ahead with launching ERNIE Bot has caused concerns in the tech space with regard to cybersecurity. Fellow at SANS Institute, David Hoelzer, has commented on Baidu's new AI invention, with fears that there may be severe security risks to organisations up ahead.

Hoelzer demonstrates that despite the great potential and popularity that AI generates, it is "important to get to grips with the reality and discover the real impact of advanced AI solutions".

He also touches on how chatbots, despite being revolutionary, actually benefit those trying to hack into companies' systems as they can "find ways to use, abuse, and trick the system into performing tasks that play right into the hackers' hands".

Hoelzer then noted how vital it is for the security staff and threat hunters in companies to take cybersecurity seriously and "understand how these tools work and what the realities of the technologies are".

Additionally, Hoelzer mentioned the importance of the security teams' understanding of the realities and dangers which hackers pose them, stating "Without knowledge, it can be very difficult for teams to keep management informed about what the real risks and opportunities are."

Concerns have already been raised about chatbots in the technological sphere already off the back of ChatGPT's launching three months ago.

Research carried out by BlackBerry revealed that among 1500 IT decision-makers from the UK, Australia and North America, 74 per cent have concerns and see the possible threat ChatGPT poses to cybersecurity. Also, 71 per cent believed that the tool is already being utilised in some areas of the world for damage towards other nations.

ChatGPT is not officially available for use in China as there has been a crackdown by the country's regulators to deny access to the chatbot. Previously the country's social media app, WeChat, granted access to ChatGPT through the use of programs created by third-party developers as well as VPNs.

This all comes amidst the major tech organisations in China, including Baidu, planning to go ahead with developing similar technology and ultimately rolling out their own AI chatbots.

The country views the development of AI as a key priority. However, despite Chinese tech companies looking to stamp their authority in this sector, regulators will be taking notice of how the technology is utilised.

It is alleged that any Chinese organisations, including Baidu, will need to converse with these relevant regulators before launching any new ChatGPT-like service.

This emerging market of AI chatbot tools is set to have a presence globally and especially amongst the biggest tech companies such as Google, which earlier this month announced its plans to launch its own AI chatbot, Bard.