Will AI Take Over Humanity? We Asked Akash Raj in “Interview with a Team Member”

In our series Interview With A Team Member, we aim to introduce the people behind the JASP project. Today we are interviewing Akash Raj, one of our software developers.


Akash is a software developer. At JASP, he is responsible for the implementation of UI elements. Akash also implemented the Summary Stats module.


What is your professional background?

After a year of Electronics Engineering in my bachelor’s, I decided to pursue a second degree in Computer Science. I worked as a software developer for about a year in Delhi. I am now enrolled in a research master’s in Artificial Intelligence at the UvA.

What is your relation to JASP?

I first worked on JASP during my bachelor thesis with EJ Wagenmakers. I liked working on the program, its mission and the people in the lab. I helped implement the Summary stats module and set up the initial testing framework. Now, I contribute to various features of JASP.

What is your favorite statistical test?

Linear Regression. I use this quite often and I’ve come to appreciate its simplicity.

What feature of JASP do you like best?

  1. Data-editing and syncing. The idea of using your favourite editor/program (or even R) to modify and update data is ingenious.

  2. It is free! JASP offers advanced capabilities, numerous statistical tests, formatted results and all of these for free. I believe this greatly helps everyone.

What aspect of JASP would you like to see improved in a future version?

APIs to python, stan, and other statistical programs. Furthermore, the implementation of modules needs to be simpler and more dynamic, something that we’re already working on. The combination of the two would unlock a world of possibilities.

Are you a Bayesian, a frequentist, an agnostic, a pragmatist, or perhaps something else?

Hands down Bayesian. And I always like it when my model predictions are coupled with information about uncertainty. Maybe, I am more of an ‘Uncertaintist’.

What do you think about the future of JASP?

Last week was my ‘2 year anniversary with JASP’. In just 2 years, there have been so many developments, so many new features; I would not have imagined. I believe JASP is getting more popular every day. It is evident from the number of requests we get from the community, the growing team (and sometimes the bugs reported 😛 ).

There are many modules currently in development. I am also quite excited about the Machine Learning module. It would make some of the standard methods easily accessible to people.

What question would you like to answer?

In the future will Artificial intelligent beings take over humanity?

In the future will Artificial intelligent beings take over humanity?

I hope so 😉 On a more serious note, I believe that it is important to ensure that AI systems operate as intended. The topic of such ‘AI safety’ is both important and exciting.

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