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The classic Macintosh was just redesigned by AI — and it’s beautiful

Many artists love to design alternate versions of original Apple products, including the first Macintosh computer. Most recently, app developer Steve Troughton-Smith made his own renditions of the classic Macintosh using the Stable Diffusion artwork generator.

Stable Diffusion is an AI-based image generator that uses text to develop art that the user wants to create. You can simply type in a description of what you want to create, and the Stable Diffusion generator will draft up an image that matches the text description — and these results are brilliant.

A series of old Macs, re-created by Stable Diffusion.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Troughton-Smith shared some of his favorite outcomes from the generator via a Twitter post last Thursday. Each image has a unique design, imagining the classic Macintosh with different aspects such as a rounded display, a flat keyboard much like a modern Mac, thicker and more elaborate mechanical-looking keyboard setups, a separate module resembling a Mac Studio on one design, and various extra screens, ports, knobs, and buttons on a number of iterations.

“Learning how to get great output from an AI image generator like Stable Diffusion from a text prompt and various knobs and sliders is a whole other way of programming,” Troughton-Smith said in a tweet.

What about an alternate history where Stable Diffusion designed the Macintosh?

— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 22, 2022

“It takes a lot of tweaking and iteration, trying to coalesce conceptual ideas into meaningful words/phrases,” he added.

Among other designs on the thread include old and new renditions of the iPod, and what Troughton-Smith described as “fever-dream alternatives to the original iMac.”

A mocked-up marketing page of a redesigned original Mac computer.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The app designer isn’t the only person who has been inspired by the classic Macintosh in 2022. Earlier this year, Ian Zelbo, a young concept designer who often works with popular leakers like Jon Prosser, drafted a render of his idea of a modern-day Macintosh, fully equipped with a webcam, as well as updated input and output, such as HDMI and USB-C ports in place of a floppy disk drive.

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Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
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