Missing persons posters have been transformed with machine learning to make them more memorable.

Missing People poster featuring Leah Croucher

Missing People poster featuring Leah Croucher

Posters and billboards are being revolutionised using both machine learning and peer-reviewed behavioural science.

Missing People - the UK's leading missing persons charity - launched a new design to mark Missing Children's Day on Wednesday (25.05.22).

In a press release, the organisation explained: "The changes aim to maximise the likelihood of viewers engaging with the posters and taking action.

"They have been informed by seven key pieces of behavioural science, with AI technology and machine learning used to bring the new posters to life.

"The changes have been made with the full consent and support of the families of those featured."

The key features include 3D images and smiling faces with the goal of boosting "memorability" and to "make an instant connection with passers-by".

Missing individuals are also brought to life to make them more eye-catching, while "missing" has been replaced with "action-oriented" language such as "HELP FIND".

Posters come with a unique QR code to encourage people to spread the word on social media, while the posters will also feature "background maps of where the person was last seen".

Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People, commented: "70,000 children and young people are reported missing every year in the UK, and many more go unreported.

"Missing People is there for anyone affected, every day of the year.

"When it is appropriate to publicise someone's disappearance, our appeals are a hugely important way to reach the public, to help find children.

"By embracing innovation, we hope the new appeals will have an even greater impact and lead to those featured being found safely.

"We are proud to bring the public, the media and business together to make a unique difference to people affected in communities across the UK."

Claire Croucher - whose daughter Leah Croucher features on one of the posters - added: "Our daughter Leah was nineteen when she went missing. One of the many challenges as a parent of a missing person is trying to communicate who you've lost.

"We feel that if the public were to understand who our daughter is, they are more likely to remember seeing or meeting her. Seeing Leah's face move and smile on these amazing new posters is wonderful and gives us renewed hope that Leah – and other missing people like her – will be reunited their families."

A sighting of a missing person can make a vital difference at a crucial time, and Missing People are calling on all Heroes to be their eyes and ears on the ground.

Sign-up to become a Digital Search Hero here: www.missingpeople.org.uk/support-missing-people/fec/sign-up-to-be-a-digital-search-hero