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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.

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A series of old Macs, re-created by Stable Diffusion.

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.

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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