In an increasing number of domains, people interact with automated agents (such as algorithms, robots, and computers) instead of humans. Across five studies, we explore the role of authenticity in shaping people’s reactions to automated agents’ work. In doing so, we examine two basic ways to generate authenticity in autonomous technological work: (1) highlighting the human origins of autonomous technologies, and (2) anthropomorphizing autonomous technologies, or presenting them with human-like qualities. We find strong evidence that human origin stories generate authenticity but much less evidence that simple anthropomorphic cues do so to the
same degree (Studies 1-3). Simply prompting people to consider human origins can also generate attributions of authenticity (Study 4), which translates into intended and recommended support for automated work (Study 5). We discuss how managers of organizations can implement automated systems in ways that encourage attributions of authenticity.