Time and time again we hear examples of how artificial intelligence (AI) is helping people deal with huge amounts of work. Helping get the job done faster. Even eliminating some tasks altogether. Whether it’s crunching numbers, performing repetitive tasks, or searching for new ways of doing things, AI is enabling people to get more done.

But AI is about more than improving productivity.

AI coupled with machine learning (ML) is opening up new possibilities across industries by “collaborating” with humans to achieve major breakthroughs—helping to do what was not possible before. Faster. Better. Cheaper.

To that end, MIT Technology Review recently looked at AI’s role in research and development (R&D) and invention. The findings may surprise you, including AI’s ability to be creative, different and “quirky.” According to the article, “The biggest impact of artificial intelligence will be to help humans make discoveries we couldn’t make on our own.”

But how?

According to the article, AI explores different areas and goes in different directions than humans. Simply put, “it thinks differently,” bringing an imagination to product development and invention that can help spur new ideas for humans to pursue.

The other area of R&D that AI is having a tremendous impact on is cost. AI and ML are helping inventors leverage vastly larger amounts of data into their new product development efforts. Because “much innovation involves making predictions based on data,” this newfound ability to factor in more business intelligence into decision making and product direction can have a profound impact on innovation.

To learn more about this topic, including figures on the rising cost of innovation and the new AI-driven labs of the future, read the complete MIT Technology Review article here.