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Wetware refers to any hardware or software systems with a biological component, or biological systems that function like software and hardware. Different types of wetware are important in STEM disciplines like bioengineering, artificial intelligence and genetic research.
One of the best examples of wetware is the human body and central nervous system. Scientists may talk about wetware as describing the bioelectric and biochemical properties of the central nervous system. The term wetware is often used to contrast parts of the human body or brain to actual hardware and software systems. For instance, where neural networks and similar artificial intelligence technologies would be described as hardware, the human brain that they attempt to simulate and model would be the “wetware.” Biological systems are described as wetware because of the water that makes up so much of the biological tissue of humans, animals and plants. The term “wetware” will become increasingly useful as technology makes its way into the fields of biology and biological engineering.