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.
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.
In neuroscience, wetware is used to describe the human brain’s biologically-based information processing capabilities. The term is also used to refer to biologically-inspired computer systems.
The prefix “wet” is a reference to the water found in living creatures. Wetware is used to describe the elements equivalent to hardware and software found in a person, especially the central nervous system (CNS) and the human mind. The term wetware finds use in works of fiction, in scholarly publications and in popularisation.
The “hardware” component of wetware concerns the bioelectric and biochemical properties of the CNS, specifically the brain. If the sequence of impulses traveling across the various neurons are thought of symbolically as software, then the physical neurons would be the hardware.
The amalgamated interaction of this software and hardware is manifested through continuously changing physical connections, and chemical and electrical influences that spread across the body. The process by which the mind and brain interact to produce the collection of experiences that we define as self-awareness, protocols we can control.