Are you a Cyborg or Centaur? Researchers define two types of workers who benefit from AI

You might be sceptical or scared of artificial intelligence (AI), but the reality is: it’s here, and it isn’t going away, no matter how much some people would want it to.

It is going to take over many jobs and reduce headcount in companies, whether by replacing people outright or by making us more productive, thus reducing the demand for human workforce across the board.

In fact, erosion of employment is already visible — for example, among freelance professions, where the impact of AI was quickest to hit, due to the transactional nature of the job and lack of legal protections or employment contracts.

“Most strikingly, the study found that freelancers who previously had the highest earnings and completed the most jobs were no less likely to see their employment and earnings decline than other workers. If anything, they had worse outcomes. In other words, being more skilled was no shield against loss of work or earnings.”

Fortunately, while AI taketh, it also giveth. If you’re smart enough to take advantage of it in the right way, you may become a more, not less, valued worker.

Cyborgs and Centaurs

A recent experiment by Harvard researchers and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), turned BCG offices into an AI proving ground, showing a considerable improvement in the quality of the work completed using the new, smart tools.

ai experiment harvard boston consulting group
Distribution of output quality across all the tasks. The blue group did not use AI, the green and red groups used AI, the red group got some additional training on how to use AI. / Image Credit: OneUsefulThing.org

Moreover, AI tends to boost the performance of weaker employees (here by 43 per cent) more than the best ones (an improvement of just 17 per cent), bringing the capabilities of different team members closer to each other, thereby eliminating the existence of very weak links.

Thanks to AI, fewer people are indispensable.

ai experiment harvard boston consulting group
Image Credit: OneUsefulThing.org

However, both this and other studies the researchers participated in have also identified certain weaknesses which, in extreme cases, may hurt rather than help performance.

Over-reliance on AI for certain tasks made people less competent in the long run, as they became more apathetic, given that the machine was performing most of the heavy-lifting. They simply “fell asleep at the wheel”.

Elsewhere, it was found that, in certain nuanced tasks, utilising AI was detrimental to the outcome. In essence, human collaboration with a smart chatbot produced worse results than a human on his own did.

In other words, to be a highly productive employee, you need to understand when to use AI and when not to, as well as to constantly control its performance, maintaining your own proficiency at work.

Drawing from these findings, the researchers have described two behavioural strategies of the best-performing participants, labelling them either as Cyborgs or Centaurs.

Centaurs — known from Greek mythology as half-men, half-horses — divide their work between AI-assisted and non-assisted tasks. They use a clear distinction between the two, emphasising the strength of either approach in their assignments.

In the experiment at BCG, the Centaur employees performed the tasks they felt the strongest at themselves and then delegated the ones they weren’t as certain of to AI. Centaurs know their strengths and weaknesses, and use the intelligent machine to help them fill the gaps they are so keenly aware of.

Cyborgs, on the other hand, as the name suggests, are blended human-AI machines. They continuously utilise AI to complete parts of a task that they feel it’s better suited to and then mould it to their will afterwards.

For instance, they could ask ChatGPT to generate a few paragraphs of text, which they would then edit and polish themselves.

Few tasks are handed off to AI completely, as Cyborgs prefer to have control over the machine-generated output, continuously correcting it for the most desirable outcome.

Notably, both approaches require considerable proficiency at the task at hand, to know when and when not to use AI for help — or when to discard its output.

For Cyborgs, it is a continuous process. While Centaurs feel comfortable completing large tasks on their own, they also find value in using AI as mere assistants, particularly for jobs they would generally prefer to offload to someone else.

This is what the authors of the experiment dubbed the “jagged frontier” of AI — an observation that AI tools allow us to extend our capabilities beyond existing boundaries in some areas, while dragging us behind in others.

jagged frontier of ai capabilities
Image Credit: OneUsefulThing.org

Whether you’re a Centaur or Cyborg, you’re ahead of the pack, able to take full advantage of AI’s superior capabilities, while avoiding over-reliance on it when it is not prudent to do so.

It is hard not to notice, however, that, at the end of the day, human competencies are what’s necessary to make that difference.

Knowing when to lean on AI and when not to, is what makes the best employees — and might soon be a prerequisite to keeping your job. Fortunately, then, even with the birth of intelligent machines, our future is still in our hands.

Featured Image Credit: Depositphotos

Also Read: Who goes to jail if AI breaks the law? GPT-4 bot engaged in insider trading, lied when asked

This couple built a “coconut” Airbnb in Langkawi to encourage ecotourism, here’s their story

By now, you’ve probably seen videos of Coconest across the internet. Designed to look like a coconut at sea, this overwater bungalow in Langkawi recently opened for booking a few months ago.

But its appearance isn’t the only interesting thing about this stay. 

Coconest isn’t connected to any land, so you would actually be like a coconut floating untethered to anything. This also provides a 360 view of the surrounding landscape, including a nearby island and Gorilla (or King Kong) mountain.

Its unique placement aside, what really drew me to Coconest is the fact that this stay was the result of Airbnb’s inaugural OMG! Fund competition in 2022. 

And Reena and Hakim, the founders of Coconest, were one of 100 global winners given US$100,000 each by Airbnb to bring their vision to life in less than a year.

Image Credit: Coconest

Unique, sustainable, and immersive

With Hakim coming from an architectural background, it shouldn’t be surprising that the couple would enter such a competition. But the idea to take part in it came down to one thing—free entry. 

In his experience, the 34-year-old shared that this is the first design-build competition that was free to enter. So they figured there was nothing to lose, except for a few minutes of their time.

“We do recall thinking how awesome it would be to represent Malaysia in this competition if we were to earn one of the 100 spots, so we applied,” Hakim said.

To join the competition, candidates are required to first submit a 1,000-word essay to explain their idea. Based on the official rules, the idea needs to meet the following selection criteria:

  • 40% crazy, unique, extraordinary: In terms of the location of the space, and creativity and uniqueness of the design.
  • 40% feasible: In terms of whether the design is financially and/or logistically feasible, and whether the project is reasonably likely to be completed within the required timeframe and proposed budget.
  • 10% sustainable: In terms of the design’s incorporation of environmentally sustainable attributes and consideration of offsetting environmental concerns.
  • 10% immersive experiences: In terms of the overall guest experience that is created through this design.

Image Credit: Coconest

Fortunately for them, they already had an idea in mind. So it only took about 20 minutes to complete the essay.

“Coconut Drifting in the Sea”

Speaking candidly, Hakim explained that the idea came from Reena’s dream of having her own floating platform. 

You see, she started a water activities company called H2Ocean Resources some years ago. It operated off an existing floating platform in Tanjung Rhu. At the time, she was only leasing the space for her business.

But after spending so much time there, she learnt to appreciate the beauty that Tanjung Rhu had to offer. And her thought of building more businesses around the area to elevate the beach’s name in Langkawi grew.

“We wanted to share the experience of being on a floating structure in Tanjung Rhu,” Reena explained.

Image Credit: Coconest

What came out of that is what you see today, then called the “Coconut Drifting in the Sea”.

Being a part of the winner’s circle

Phase Two of the competition was more technical. Participants had to submit design plans, drawings, mock-ups, photographs, and/or videos. 

This was where they had to explore the feasibility of the project in detail, including how to construct an actual floating coconut-looking dome structure. 

“We explored materials, general assembly, and various design components of the project,” Hakim explained. At the same time, they looked for contractors and talked to local boatwrights to find out where and how they could build Coconest. 

Of the 500 candidates, only 200 were selected into the third and final stage. To be part of the winner’s circle, participants were asked to submit a minute-long video of themselves explaining the space, building timeline, and budget allocation.

Coconest was fully built on July 31st, 2023. Hakim and Reena topped up about US$8,000 with their own funds into the project as they were under-budget for the Solar Panel systems. / Image Credit: Coconest

By early October 2022, Airbnb announced the 100 champions that won from the pool fund of US$10,000,000.

Not just an Airbnb, but a conservation site too

Going through the list of winners, you’ll notice that the competition was tight. There were people submitting homes shaped like a giant flower pot, a giant pig-shaped stay in a pig sanctuary, and a livable giant fossilised snail in the desert. 

So how did Hakim and Reena’s idea be part of such a crowd?

“We believe it’s the fact that we spent a decent amount of time researching feasibility and putting together a detailed deck of how this idea would be executed. That as crazy as it sounds, it’s 100% possible.”

“We had the right construction team, right design team, right community that would support us, and the right project site to do it,” they shared.

Aside from that, though, I personally find the sustainability element to be another hook. 

Image Credit: Coconest

Coconest wasn’t intended to just look intriguing. The goal was to build it in Tanjung Rhu off an existing fish farm platform. Then eventually, introduce a coral nursery to teach guests how to plant and grow corals. 

A cause that’s closer to home

Since the couple lived in Tanjung Rhu, they found that the local coral habitats were slowly being destroyed due to over-tourism. This is an issue that many tourist attractions face, and is why some like Pulau Sipadan in Sabah close for conservation at times.

In Hakim and Reena’s own experience, they found that scuba dive hotspots like Pulau Dangli have more garbage and dead corals than it did two years ago.

“There is no system or programme in place to educate the community on the importance of preserving these delicate habitats. Nor is there a programme in place to replenish or grow these habitats. If the habitat dies, it takes with it the tourism opportunity,” he explained.

So by having a coral nursery at Coconest, they bring added value to the tourism space while doing their parts for environmental conservation. 

As Coconest is floating on water, the couple acquired a Temporary Occupancy Licence (TOL). They also acquired the existing fish farm platform along with its licences (TOL and fish farm license) for the purpose of the Coconest project. / Image Credit: Coconest

In this spirit, he disclosed that 25% of the US$100,000 fund they received went into renovating the fish farm. By expanding it, they hope to create a controlled “pool” where people can practice coral-planting before doing it in the open sea.

Keeping locals in mind throughout the project

Thus far, it’s only been about four months since Coconest officially opened its doors. The reception has been quite good, with 85% of bookings coming from Malaysians. 

To encourage more locals to visit, they actually provide discounts. 

If your booking isn’t within two days of check-in, there will be an automatic 30% discount applied. Which is a decent rebate as it typically costs nearly RM600 per night.

“We also did a 50% promotion in the beginning of the project and in 2024 we plan on bringing that promotion back, but in a limited form offered specifically to local Langkawians only,” the couple expressed.

Image Credit: H2Ocean Resources

During your stay at Coconest, you’ll also get an in-house discount to some of H2Ocean Resources’ activities, including paddle board tours and catamaran bike tours.

An ambitious goal that’s for the people

“Our next immediate goal is to apply for the tourism grant in Malaysia because we believe that the coral nursery and Coconest both can attract tourists. Not only to Langkawi, but specifically to Tanjung Rhu,” they shared.

It’s a personal goal of Reena’s. For the longest time, she’s been wanting to boost the visibility of Tanjung Rhu to the world. This is especially because most people that visit Langkawi usually only know Chenang or Kuah.

So in line with this long-term vision of elevating Tanjung Rhu, they plan to build another two to three Coconests. These would accommodate larger families, as the current one only fits two people.

“Our dream is to build a prefabricated modular workshop that specialises in dome construction built to float on water. Then sell and ship it all over Malaysia and the APAC region. The idea is that it would be easily assembled and produced in Malaysia.”

Image Credit: Coconest

If this plan pans out, it would help to generate more income for the couple to channel into their tourism efforts. So perhaps we’ll see Tanjung Rhu as the highlight of Langkawi in the near future.

  • Learn more about Coconest here
  • Read articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Also Read: Learn how to leverage cloud solutions for your biz by joining this free webinar in November

Featured Image Credit: Coconest

A digital nomad’s guide to (almost) all the coworking spaces in Klang Valley & the prices

The coworking space industry isn’t exactly looking its hottest these days, what with WeWork’s filing for bankruptcy recently.

However, that’s over in the West. Coworking spaces are certainly still well and alive in Malaysia, with a number of startups in the space actively growing and being profitable.

Established chains aside, the local industry is also bolstered by smaller companies that offer their services in one or two locations, servicing freelancers, entrepreneurs, or small teams in the country.

The last time Vulcan Post compiled a list of coworking spaces in the Klang Valley, though, it had been all the way back in 2017. Much has changed in the landscape since then, with new names joining the fray and some old names leaving the scene. So, here’s an updated list on the coworking spaces in the Klang Valley area.

While pretty in-depth, this is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it comprises coworking spaces that can easily be booked online.

Note that prices for the hot desks, fixed desks, and private offices are the monthly rates we were able to find online. These prices usually come with the “starts from” disclaimer, which means they might be more expensive depending on the location or other factors.

For prices that are labelled N/A, this means a quotation may only be available upon request. For services that are simply not offered at that location, it’s marked with an “✘” symbol.  

The selling points we included aren’t unique to just that coworking space, but rather, they’re based on what’s most interesting about the place.


Image Credit: WORQ

Locations: Full list here

Day pass: RM40

Hot desks: RM400

Fixed desks: RM700

Private offices: RM700

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM, with 24/7 access to the space. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

2. Co-Labs Coworking

Image Credit: Co-Labs Coworking

Locations: Full list here­

Day pass: RM39

Hot desks: RM499

Fixed desks: RM699

Private offices: RM999

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

3. Colony 

Image Credit: Colony

Locations: Full list here

Day pass: RM60

Hot desks: RM410

Fixed desks: RM688

Private offices: RM2,390

Opening hours: 9AM to 5:30PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

4. Jerry

Image Credit: Jerry

Locations: Full list here

Day pass: RM30

Hot desks: Not offered

Fixed desks: Not offered

Private offices: RM610

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM, with 24/7 access to offices. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

5. Common Ground

Image Credit: Common Ground

Locations: Full list here

Day pass: RM60

Hot desks: RM410

Fixed desks: RM688

Private offices: RM2,390

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM (9AM to 5PM for select locations) with 24/7 access to private offices and fixed desks. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

6. Servcorp

Image Credit: Servcorp

Locations: Full list here

Day pass: N/A

Hot desks: RM211.20

Fixed desks: RM497.20

Private offices: N/A

Opening hours: 8:30AM to 5:30PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

7. Komune

Locations: Full list here.

Day pass: RM35

Hot desks: RM490

Fixed desks: RM690

Private offices: RM790

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

8. WeWork

Image Credit: WeWork

Locations: Full list here

Day pass: N/A

Hot desks: N/A

Fixed desks: N/A

Private offices: N/A

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

9. The Spaces

Image Credit: The Spaces

Location: Block B01-B-15 Level 15 Menara 2, Jalan Bangsar, KL Eco City, 59200, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

Day pass: RM39

Hot desks: RM449

Fixed desks: RM809

Private offices: RM687

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM, with 24/7 access to the office. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

10. Workie Workie

Image Credit: Workie Workie

Location: LG1-2, Seri Gembira Avenue. 6, Jalan Senang Ria Happy Garden, Kuchai Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur

Day pass: N/A

Hot desks: RM369

Fixed desks: RM499

Private offices: RM599

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

11. Cube Coworking

Image Credit: Cube Coworking

Location: 2A, Jalan 51a/243, Seksyen 51a, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Day pass: RM49

Hot desks: RM159

Fixed desks: N/A

Private offices: RM700/suite

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM on weekdays. 9AM to 4PM on Saturday and Sunday.

12. Emspaced

Image Credit: Emspaced

Locations: Full list here

Day pass: N/A

Hot desks: RM399

Fixed desks: RM599

Private offices: RM799

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday.


Image Credit: WSPACE

Locations: Full list here

Day pass: RM60

Hot desks: RM499

Fixed desks: RM899

Private offices: RM1,200

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed Saturday and Sunday.  

14. Like A Boss

Image Credit: Like A Boss

Location: 1/2, Unit 1-21, Level 1, Ecosky, Batu 6, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Taman Wahyu, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor

Day pass: RM25

Hot desks: RM299

Fixed desks: Not offered

Private offices: N/A

Opening hours: 9AM to 8PM from Monday to Saturday. 9AM to 5PM on Sunday.

15. Inspire

Image Credit: Inspire

Location: Level 1, No, 2, Jalan Robertson, Bukit Bintang, 50150 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

Day pass: RM20

Hot desks: Not offered

Fixed desks: RM399

Private offices: RM599

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM from Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sunday.

16. DOJO

Image Credit: DOJO

Location: Lot A-1-1 Menara Amplewest, 6, Jalan P. Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur

Day pass: RM45

Hot desks: RM500

Fixed desks: Not offered

Private offices: RM750

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

17. EZ Space

Image Credit: EZ Space

Location: Full list here

Day pass: RM20

Hot desks: RM399

Fixed desks: RM599

Private offices: RM1,200

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.  

18. Plus Space

Image Credit: Plus Space

Location: Level 21, Mercu 3 No. 3, Jalan Bangsar KL Eco City, Bangsar, 59200 Kuala Lumpur

Day pass: Not offered

Hot desks: RM599

Fixed desks: RM799

Private offices: RM899

Opening hours: 8:30AM to 5:30PM. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

19. H Space

Image Credit: H Space

Location: Full list here

Day pass: RM40

Hot desks: RM390

Fixed desks: RM590

Private offices: RM1,360

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

20. Lemon Treehouse

Image Credit: Lemon Treehouse

Locations: Full list here.

Day pass: N/A

Hot desks: N/A

Fixed desks: N/A

Private offices: N/A

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

21. Alpha Works

Image Credit: Alpha Works

Location: B2-3A-13A Publika Solaris Dutamas, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Day pass: RM89

Hot desks: RM800

Fixed desks: RM700 (for a minimum of six months)

Private offices: N/A

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

22. CoInnov8

Image Credit: CoInnov8

Location: Block 3750 Persiaran APEC, Cyber 8, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Day pass: N/A

Hot desks: N/A

Fixed desks: RM299

Private offices: RM2,000

Opening hours: N/A

At a glance

Brand Location(s) Selling points Day pass Hot desks Fixed desks Private offices
WORQ Full list here It has seven outlets across the Klang Valley and offers a pass that lets you access all of them for RM50/month. RM40 RM400 RM700 RM700
Co-Labs Coworking Full list here There are nap pods and the team frequently hosts events for the community. RM39 RM499 RM699 RM999
Colony Full list here Colony is known for its luxurious, well-decorated spaces and warm hospitality. RM60 ­RM410 RM688 RM2,390
Jerry Full list here It only offers small, private offices with no frills, and has a heavy emphasis on self-service. RM30 RM610
Common Ground Full list here It has an app that lets users network as well as access events.   RM50 RM399 RM599 RM799
Servcorp Full list here Servcorp has a team of receptionists and secretaries who can take calls and support your business. N/A RM211.20 RM479.20 N/A
Komune Full list here The Komune brand also has a co-living solution. RM35 RM490 RM690 RM790
WeWork Full list here Despite recent events, WeWork is a well-established coworking brand that has inspired the way such spaces operate. N/A N/A N/A N/A
The Spaces KL Eco City, KL It offers up to three months of free rent. RM39 RM449 RM809 RM687
Workie Workie Kuchai Lama, KL It offers access to a hotel nap room, gym, and business library. N/A RM369 RM499 RM599
Cube Coworking Petaling Jaya, Selangor Cube is a self-storage company and offers climate-controlled storage units. RM49 RM159 N/A RM700
Emspaced Full list here It offers IT and accounting services. N/A RM399 RM599 RM799

WSPACE Full list here Benefits include HR and legal support. RM60 RM499 RM899 RM1,200
Like A Boss Batu Caves, Selangor There’s a relaxing zone for destressing needs. RM25 RM299 N/A
Inspire Bukit Bintang, KL It has a café that’s in collaboration with the Barista Guild Asia. RM20 RM399 RM599
DOJO Jalan P. Ramlee, KL The interior design features a Zen garden and ambience with earthy tones.  RM45 RM500 RM750
EZ Space Full list here It has a business lounge available at RM30/hour. RM20 RM399 RM599 RM1,200
Plus Space KL Eco City, KL Tenants can acquire the business support services of Russell Bedford Malaysia, an accounting firm. RM599 RM799 RM899
H Space Full list here As a boutique real estate company, H Space features modern interior designs. RM40 RM390 RM590 RM1,360
Lemon Treehouse Full list here. Packages can be customised to suit the customer’s needs. N/A N/A N/A N/A
Alpha Works Mont Kiara, KL Its value-added services include digital marketing, corporate team building, and more. RM89 RM800 RM700 (min. 6 months) N/A
CoInnov8 Cyberjaya A coworking space by Cyberview, it gives access to likeminded creators. N/A N/A RM299 RM2,000

  • Read other articles we’ve written about coworking spaces here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Also Read: Earn RM2.4k/mo as an intern in the capital markets via the investED leadership programme

Featured Image Credit: Jerry / Dojo / Common Ground

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)