IBM’s Watson joins H&R Block to explain taxes to humans


After the excitement from Super Bowl LI this past Sunday, many folks are still talking about the most popular commercials featured that day. One particular technological announcement is the partnership of IBM Watson with H&R Block this upcoming tax season. The cognitive computing platform, or better known as artificial intelligence (AI) has been set up to assist H&R Block customers with filing their taxes, hoping to ease the process. The cloud-based AI will visually present tax issues to as many as 11 million clients who visit H&R Block’s 12,000 offices, while looking over the shoulder of the tax preparers to offer advice. Ed Harbour, IBM VP of Watson Implementation, assures that Watson is “not doing the job” of the tax preparer, rather assisting them with interpretations and illustrations for the clients. Its debut Super Bowl commercial marked the first day of Watson’s availability at H&R Block locations this tax season.


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