Expected to create AI-based MVPs as early as in their first year, students will be able, among many other things, to build geodata analytics systems, multi-camera customer journey trackers for customer value management or CVM (personalized recommendations based on data analysis), models of generative networks for customer feedback processing in online and offline environments, and models of stores for processing cases through A/B testing. X5, in turn, will be responsible for infrastructure support in the form of an operational IT environment. 

“For our community and students to grow, collaborations on projects and products with industry leaders are vital. Turns out, our team and that of X5 Tech share similar values and visions for a Master’s project track that would benefit fledgling data analysts and ML engineers by involving them in research and product design for the retail sector. The biggest motivation for them will be the opportunity to bring their product to the market under the guidance of X5’s mentors,” says Dmitrii Botov, the head of AI Talent Hub and the Artificial Intelligence Master’s program at ITMO University. 

Dmitrii Botov. Photo by Alena Mamaeva / ITMO.NEWS

Dmitrii Botov. Photo by Alena Mamaeva / ITMO.NEWS

Experts from X5 Tech will introduce students to the company’s technology stack, mentors, and corporate culture, as well as be a part of a scholarship program for the students. Young specialists who do well academically will have the chance to intern at the company, whereas mid-level engineers – find employment within a fast-track system. 

“Our laboratory is a space where gifted Master’s students will produce relevant products using advanced technologies and AI in particular. The joint program will let them test their skills and ideas in production; as for the company, we will acquire novel perspectives on our problems and enhance the R&D aspect of routine tasks. We believe that motivated students and their ideas for digital products will help us revolutionize the industry and thus improve the lives of millions of customers,” comments Mikhail Neverov, the director for data analysis at X5 Group.

The selection process will commence in September 2023. Candidates are expected to be well-versed in Python, as well as have an excellent command of technical competencies (algorithms), fundamentals of machine learning and deep learning, and a desire to handle the engineering and infrastructural aspects of business problems.

Artificial Intelligence is a flagship educational program under the aegis of AI Talent Hub, a project launched as part of ITMO’s 2030 Development Strategy. Its goal is to reach a new level of quality in the training of mid-level AI specialists by means of online training, internships, and real-world cases. Launched in 2022 in partnership with AI developer Napoleon IT, the Master’s program claimed one of the record admissions results in the first year: 106 tuition-free students, with a competition of 4.2 applicants per position.