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Need Help Filing Your Taxes? IBM's Watson Can Help

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IBM Watson is best known for appearances on Jeopardy! and unlocking the secret to happiness, but now the artificial intelligence supercomputer is adding a new accomplishment to its resume: filing your annual tax returns, Mashable reports.

H&R Block has partnered with IBM to use Watson’s computing power to go through tax documents and receipts. Along with H&R Block staff, IBM’s software will use natural language processing to understand more than 70,000 pages of the United States federal tax code as well as up-to-date tax laws in order to find the best possible tax return for customers.

“IBM has shown how complex, data-rich industries such as healthcare, retail and education are being transformed through the use of Watson,” said David Kenny, IBM's senior vice president for Watson, in a press release. “Now with H&R Block, we’re applying the power of cognitive computing in an entirely new way that everyone can relate to and benefit from – the tax prep process.”

IBM Watson will also learn more about the U.S. tax code as it continues to file more returns throughout the season, so it can be smarter and more efficient. The tax firm hopes that Watson will improve the way they file year after year.

H&R Block will officially launch IBM's Watson at their 10,000 locations nationwide on February 5.

[h/t Mashable]

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Bone Broth 101
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Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

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Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
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If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).

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