Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement on April 10th, new research suggests that despite helping to end the violence in Northern Ireland in 1998, the Good Friday Agreement failed to address underlying issues surrounding justice and legacy. The findings come as the much-anticipated Legacy Bill continues to sit in the House of Commons.
The Forgiveness project – conducted by UK interfaith charity, the Woolf Institute, and A.I. leaders, CulturePulse – aims to explore relations between different communities in Northern Ireland and the role of forgiveness and revenge in shaping life there since the end of the conflict.
The study is the first of its kind and illustrates the true scale of the impact that anxiety and a sense of fairness have had in driving conflict and reconciliation in a society, with each the leading driver in Northern Ireland respectively.
Contrary to expectations, neither forgiveness nor revenge were found to be desired by the populace. And sadness, normally a predictor of conflict, was instead found to be one of the key drivers of cooperation and reconciliation, suggesting that there has been a recognition on both sides of the conflict of shared suffering and victimhood.
Dr Justin. E. Lane, Co-Founder and CEO of CulturePulse, said: “The research uses highly advanced Multi-agent Artificial Intelligence (MAAI) to simulate and analyse social conditions in Northern Ireland by distilling over 50 million articles from the largest database of human society ever created (GDelt) into 80 aspects of culture, psychology and morality underpinning the NI conflict.”
Katherine O’Lone, Lead researcher at the Woolf Institute for the project, said: “People look back at the conflict with sadness, regret, and a shared sense of injustice and unfairness. The Good Friday Agreement was a resounding success at ending the conflict, but the importance of the Legacy Bill passing through the House of Commons cannot be understated.”
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